UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Preview – The Ronda Rousey Show
My preview of UFC 157, which is a solid card headlined by a historic fight and a very important light heavyweight match-up.
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche: Carmouche is a tough girl, but she doesn’t have the skills to compete with Rousey. She’s not good enough to keep the fight on the feet against an Olympic level Judoka and if she tries to use her wrestling and ground and pound, which is her biggest strength, she’s going to be submitted. So it’s either try to keep the fight standing, get taken down, and get submitted or take the fight to the ground and get submitted. Rousey might be a one trick pony, but Carmouche isn’t the right woman to stop that trick.
Prediction: Rousey, Armbar, Round 1
Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson: This is the real main event, at least in terms of skill. Both these guys earned title shots in 2012, but neither man actually got one thanks to injuries, unwillingness to accept a fight on short notice, and Chael Sonnen. Now they fight each other to earn another title shot that they probably won’t get thanks to Daniel Cormier. Despite his age, Henderson continues to chug along and beat some top guys, but now he’s facing a guy who isn’t just going to stand in front of him and wait to get hit by that big right hand. To Henderson’s credit, even though everyone knows he’s just waiting to unload his right hand, he sets it up well with the jab and inside leg kick. Against Machida though, he’s going to have to time his right hand perfectly, because Machida gets in and out before most counter punches even get started. Even though Machida can be predictable with his combinations, only two people have ever figured him out. One had the benefit of going 25-minutes with him in a prior fight. The other is Jon Jones. If the right hand isn’t there for Henderson, he can always fall back on his clinch work. Quinton Jackson was able to “beat” Machida by pushing him against the cage, and like Jackson, Henderson has power that Machida will likely respect. Of course if Henderson decides to clinch, there’s a chance he ends up on his back since Machida has underrated takedowns in the clinch and Henderson’s takedown defense isn’t anything special. Machida will likely do what he always does, which is pick his shots and frustrate opponents with his movement. The longer the fight goes, the more is favors Machida. Even though Henderson is always dangerous with his right hand, he becomes less and less dangerous as the fight wears on because of his terrible cardio. I know Henderson’s chin is damn near bullet proof and that he’s never been finished by strikes, but there’s a first time for everything. And let’s not forget that to finish a guy by TKO, you don’t exactly need to crack his chin. I think Machida hurts Henderson in the third round with a body kick or his patented leap in knee to the body and then storms on him until the ref pulls him off. For the record, I’ve picked Henderson to lose his last three fights by TKO and you see how well that has worked out. Sorry Lyoto.
Prediction: Machida, TKO, Round 3
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar: Make no mistake about it, Faber is still an excellent fighter who everyone is down on because he continues to get title fights even though he can’t win them. It’s not his fault that he’s in a class all by himself though. It’s unfortunate for him that that class is “guy who can beat everyone except the champion.” Menjivar is a talented fighter, but he’s not the champion and this is a three round fight, meaning Faber will likely win. If Menjivar can keep it standing, he has a chance since he’s a diverse striker and could keep Faber off balance. But if and when Faber decides to turn this fight into a grappling contest, Menjivar is pretty much screwed as Faber is excellent in the scrambles, turning nothing positions into something, maintaining control, and doing damage from top position. Menjivar can’t afford to get into a grappling contest with Faber, although he might not have much of a choice once Faber decides to commit to his takedown and grapple initiation. I think Faber does what he always does against non-champions and that’s fight his fight and not fall into his opponents game. I think he’ll finish Menjivar sometime in the second after a relatively slow first round.
Prediction: Faber, Submission, Round 2
Court McGee vs. Josh Neer: Neer was never a particularly good fighter, but he was at least durable. Now he’s no longer durable having been KO’d and submitted in his last two bouts. McGee isn’t a great fighter either, but he is durable, fights at a strong pace, and gets better as the fight goes on. I expect these two to stand and trade for the majority of the 15-minutes, getting into a high level brawl that includes multiple moments that causes Joe Rogan to scream that one guy is rocked just because they awkwardly take a step back or to the side. McGee is cutting to welterweight for the first time, which could hurt his cardio, but I suspect that he’ll be in great shape and ready to press the action for three rounds.
Prediction: McGee, Decision
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler: After struggling at middleweight, Lawler did what every great fighter does: drop down. Now he’ll struggle at welterweight because it’s a division filled with great wrestlers and grapplers, which is an area that Lawler still hasn’t improved in despite competing in MMA since 2001. If Koscheck decides to stand, there’s a chance he gets caught because Lawler is a decent boxer with some heavy hands. But if Koscheck is smart, he’ll be relentless with his takedowns and not give Lawler a chance to get off on his feet. When he fully commits and drives through, there aren’t many fighters who Koscheck can’t put on their back and Lawler will be no exception. If Lawler gasses, which is very possible considering he’s never been known for his cardio and he’s cutting to welterweight for the first time in nearly 10 years, then Koscheck can finish him late. If not, Koscheck will likely just control his way to a decision.
Prediction: Koscheck, Submission, Round 3