Ronda Rousey is the UFC's first-ever female champion and on Saturday night she kept the title, although it wasn't as easy as some expected. In addition, despite the fact that there were some howls of upset Rousey-Liz Carmouche fight was announced as the main event of UFC 157 back in December, the two women gave UFC fans everything they wanted and more.
It's unclear how much of the attention continues to focus on Rousey's sex symbol status. Rousey has become a UFC celebrity, and she's even been asked if she would do Playboy. Although she shed her clothes for 2012's ESPN Magazine “Body Issue,” she said that’s as far as she’s willing to go.
15,525 fans packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and paid a gate worth $1.4 million. The question was whether or not Rousey could continue her amazing run of first-round arm bars to 10 out of 10 amateur and professional fights.
She did it, although she had an early test. Carmouche (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) nearly set up for a rear-naked choke early, but Rousey countered. Eventually, Rousey won the way she continues to win, with the same move, an arm bar. All of her wins, as noted, have been in the first round.
Rousey's win marked the first female fight in the almost 20-year history of the UFC. Video highlights can be seen embedded.
Dave Doyle gave the play-by-play:
John McCarthy is the main-event referee. Ronda comes right out with a jab. Liz responds with a jab of her own. Carmouche is doing everything she can to avoid the armbar. Rousey stands and Carmouche gets her back. She's working for a rear-naked choke. She's cranking. She almost has it. Rousey's legs are wobbling. Rousey escapes to a huge pop from the crowd.
Carmouche is on her back, Rousey standing. Rousey throwing single punches. Connects with a left and a right. Rousey finally gets to the mat and has Carmouche in a side headlock. Rousey throwing short punches. She continues throwing rabbit punches.
Carmouche doesn't seem to have an answer. Final minute. Liz tries to work for a triangle. Rousey has her opening for the armbar. Carmouche is holding on for all its worth. 30 seconds left. Rousey pulling for all its worth. 15 seconds left. She straight ens the arms out and Carmouche taps to a deafening response from the crowd.
UFC 157 results: Ronda Rousey def. Liz Carmouche via submission (armbar) at 4:49 of round one.
In the co-main event, Lyoto Machida (19-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) defeated Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in a split decision. It's possible the win may put him next in line for a chance at the UFC light heavyweight title.