Ask and ye shall receive.
Ask is what Liz Carmouche did, and she received the first shot at the UFC’s inaugural women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. The two will square off in the UFC 157 main event on Feb. 23 in Anaheim, Calif.
Carmouche wasn’t at the top of the UFC’s list when it came to Rousey’s first title defense. Others were contacted for the fight, but turned it down, according to UFC president Dana White.
Carmouche, on the other hand, was actively lobbying for the bout, and when the call came, she didn’t hesitate.
It’s been quite a process assimilating to all the attention.
“This is a part of history… it’s a little overwhelming,” Carmouche said in a media scrum with reporters at UFC 155 last month.
She’s had to adjust to the media demands, switching up her schedule to make sure she still gets the appropriate training in, while taking part in press junkets and the like.
Carmouche has also had the added nuance of being one of the first openly gay fighters in the sport; so much of the media attention has strayed in that direction. It’s not something that she asked for, but it’s also not something that she shies away from.
“I didn’t expect the role that I was going to take with the homosexual community and leading it forward, but I’m certainly accepting it and hoping I can be an advocate.”
All the attention, whether focused on her fighting or her sexuality, has been quite an adjustment for her, but Carmouche isn’t overly concerned. She’s been preparing for this fight since long before it was ever offered.
“Unlike some people, who when they get the phone call they start preparing for the fight,” Carmouche explained, “I’ve been doing this since she won the title.”
Does she have the answers to the Ronda Rousey puzzle? That remains to be seen, but from Carmouche’s demeanor and already having experience in big fights – she challenged for the Strikeforce belt, coming up short against Marloes Coenen – she is as prepared as anyone that has yet to step in the cage with Rousey.
All the questions will be answered at UFC 157 in February.
Check out what else Liz Carmouche had to say in her UFC 155 media scrum…