UFC 157: Rousey vs Carmouche Review – 100 Million Buys
My review of UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche, which was the most historic event in the historic history of history.
Ronda Rousey def. Liz Carmouche: The end result was what everyone thought it would be, but it took a little longer and was a little tougher than Rousey would’ve liked. It looked over early, as Rousey was able to muscle Carmouche to the ground, but Carmouche was able to scramble, get the back, and nearly sink in a standing rear naked choke. To her credit, Rousey fought it off, got a headlock on the ground, and continued to punch Carmouche in the face until she was finally able to move to mount. From there, it took her awhile, but Rousey eventually locked on the armbar and Carmouche was forced to tap. Even though this wasn’t the dominating performance that most thought it would be, that might actually be a good thing because it made Rousey look vulnerable. I still believe that Rousey is head and shoulders above everyone in the division, but this fight did prove that some have gone too far in their praise for her, especially those who thought she could compete with men. Again, Rousey is still an exceptional fighter, but she more than briefly struggled against a 2-2 fighter in her last four, whose biggest win came against a 7-6 fighter, who was a huge underdog, and an easy match-up stylistically. Let’s not forget that Rousey is still pretty new to the start and is pretty much just getting by on her judo, strength, and armbar. So it’s fine if she struggles because it hopefully reminds fans that women’s MMA isn’t on the same level as men’s and to think otherwise is nonsense. I was actually more impressed by Carmouche, because she was able to mount some offense and put Rousey in a very bad position when no one gave her a chance to do anything and she was pretty much a sacrificial lamb. I don’t know who either woman fights next, although I assume Rousey will fight Miesha Tate if she’s victorious in her UFC debut. That fight could be huge on FOX and could benefit even more if they coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. All I know is that Cristiane Santos’ stock went up after this fight, because I don’t think she’d be able to bully “Cyborg” the way Rousey has bullied everyone else thus far. Of course getting Dana White and Tito Ortiz to put a fight together is like asking Taylor Swift not to write a break-up song.
Lyoto Machida def. Dan Henderson: It wasn’t the most exciting performance in the world, but it was pretty much the fight I think a lot of people expected. For the majority of the 15-minutes, Machida stayed on the outside and waited for Henderson to come in. And when Henderson did come in, he countered with a left or a knee. Henderson kept loading up on his right hand, but it was never really there, so he settled for landing some of the sloppiest leg kicks ever thrown. Machida scored a takedown in the first round and Henderson scored a takedown in the third round, both of which were the most significant things that happened in each round. That means the fight came down to round two, where almost nothing happened. Machida was the cleaner and more effective striker throughout the fight, which is why I think he ended up walking away with the decision, which is also why I scored the fight for him. Whether you scored it for Machida or Henderson, it doesn’t really matter, because Jon Jones isn’t fighting either of these guys later this year. So it looks like the #1 contender to the title according to the official UFC rankings will sit around and do nothing or knock off another contender, because Machida remains the second best fighter in the division. I’d love it if Machida did decide to drop to 185, but with Anderson Silva holding the title, it’s unlikely that fight will happen. Henderson remains a top guy at 205, although at 42, time is running out on his career. He can still have some big fights against top names at 205 with no place to go (ex. Rashad Evans or a rematch against “Shogun” Rua), but I doubt he ever gets that title shot that eluded him last fall.
Urijah Faber def. Ivan Menjivar: Let me remind you: Faber is still an excellent fighter. Menjivar is a solid fighter who is relatively well rounded and tough to finish. Yet Faber made it look easy. Menjivar actually threw Faber to the ground, but Faber immediately scrambled into top position and rained down some elbows. When Menjivar eventually tried to get to his feet, Faber immediately got the back in a crucifix position, transitioned into full back control, and sunk in a standing rear naked choke. I don’t know if Faber has earned another title shot with this victory, but given the shallowness of the division and the fact that Faber is the closest thing they have to a draw in the division, it wouldn’t shock me if he gets another crack at the belt. This year has been the best reminder ever that UFC is a business more than a sport and Faber vs. the champ is best for business. It’s not like he hasn’t earned it either. He’s still the best bantamweight in the division behind the champion and interim champion. So he can keep knocking off contenders or just become the top contender. It’s a weird position for the UFC and Faber, and I understand why both are resented, but it’s not Faber’s fault that he’s talented and people actually know who he is.
Court McGee def. Josh Neer: This fight was pretty much what we all expected. They stood in front of each other from 15-minutes and threw a ton of strikes while Rogan had multiple freak outs. McGee nearly had Neer finished in the first round after a couple of body shots, but failed to capitalize on the ground and eventually ran out of time. Neer came back strong in the second round, but McGee was still landing the cleaner shots throughout the round. In the third, McGee decided to play it safe and decided to takedown Neer. Neer made him work on top with his always active guard and McGee had no problem maintaining position and landing flurries of punches and elbows. Neer always comes to war, but this is his third straight loss and he’s just a shot fighter who doesn’t really care anymore. I like McGee, I thought I was the only one, but it turns out that there are a few of them out there. I know that he’s not a great fighter and that he’d lose to any of the top guys at 170, but he’s a guy that comes to fight and is always in your face, which is what I like about him. He’s not the most skilled guy in the world, but he works hard and can simply out-pace a lot of guys.
Robbie Lawler def. Josh Koscheck: If this is Koscheck’s last fight in the UFC, it’s been a fun ride. Koscheck did what he needed to do early, which is immediately get takedowns. I give Lawler credit for not taking much damage from the bottom and being able to work his way up to his feet though. After sprawling on a single leg attempt, Lawler landed a big punch that caused Koscheck to turtle up. From there Lawler landed a couple of more big bunches and the referee stepped in to stop it. You could argue that the stoppage was a bit early, but live it looked like Koscheck was out for a split second, so I can’t really fault the ref too much. That said, Koscheck has proven to be a tough fighter throughout his career and has earned the right to take a beating. Mainly because I’m not sure if many people would complain about said beating. I still don’t like Lawler’s chances at 170 going forward because his takedown defense is still pretty suspect, but the fact that he was able to make Koscheck work and not give up too much control is a positive sign. Plus, if he puts his hands on you, he can put you out. After the release on Jon Fitch, it wouldn’t really shock me if Koscheck is cut. Unlike Fitch, Koscheck draws some interest, but the similarities are there. Fitch was cut because of losses in two of his last three, being on the downside of his career, and money. Koscheck has lost two straight, is arguably on the downside of his career, and makes a good amount of money. I think he’ll be given one more fight just because Dana loves everyone from TUF 1, but he’s definitely running out of chances and time in his career.