Rousey will put her newly christened
UFC bantamweight title on the line against Liz
Carmouche at UFC
157, promotion president Dana White announced Thursday. It will
be the first women’s bout in the history of the Las Vegas-based
At Thursday’s UFC on Fox 5 news conference, White officially
introduced Rousey as the promotion’s inaugural women’s bantamweight
champion. After he presented her with the belt, White revealed that
Rousey would defend her crown against Carmouche in the UFC 157
UFC 157 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The
organization’s confirmation of the contest comes after it was
mistakenly announced that Rousey would face Cristiane “Cyborg”
Santos at the Feb. 23 event. Santos quickly shot down the booking,
however, stating that while her team had been negotiating with the
UFC, she would be unable to make the cut down to 135 pounds in time
for a February meeting with Rousey.
Nevertheless, “Cyborg” did reveal that if given more time to make
her weight cut that she might be able to trim down to bantamweight
in order to challenge for Rousey’s title, contradicting previous
reports asserting that such a cut could cause health complications
for the former Strikeforce featherweight champion.
While White stated that the Rousey-Santos contest was his first
choice for the UFC 157 headliner, he also revealed that Carmouche
was the most willing alternative opponent for the champion.
“[Rousey-Santos] was obviously the fight we wanted to make. We
wanted to do that at 135 pounds, and we worked hard to make that
fight. I believe that this fight will happen. I truly believe the
next one will be the Cyborg fight at 135 pounds,” said White. “Let
me put it to you this way: [Carmouche is] who wanted to fight
[Rousey]. People aren’t kicking the doors down of Zuffa to fight
A 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, Rousey has made her name in
MMA by hyperextending elbows seemingly at will, submitting each of
her first six opponents in the first round with her patented
straight armbar. The 25-year-old captured the Strikeforce
bantamweight crown from Miesha Tate
this past March and defended it successfully in August, stopping
former titlist Sarah
Kaufman in just 54 seconds.
“[The Santos fight] is going to happen eventually. I can’t make
these girls fight me when I want them to fight me,” said Rousey.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Liz. She’s the only one that stepped
up and said she wanted this fight right now. It speaks a lot to
her. When the other girls actually want to come to the big show,
they know where I’m at.
“I didn’t know about this until this morning. I don’t even know
what to make of it. It means a lot, and I feel like we have a lot
to prove at this event. No one is going to be disappointed. I think
the women are here to stay and we’re gonna prove it.”
Carmouche, 28, began her pro career in 2010, rattling off five
straight wins before earning a shot at then-Strikeforce
bantamweight queen Marloes
Coenen. Though “Girl-Rilla” gave the champion all she could
handle, the experienced Coenen pulled out a fourth-round submission
win to retain her belt. A decision loss to Sarah
Kaufman would follow for Carmouche, who then rebounded with a
pair of wins in her last two outings under the Invicta FC banner,
Curry and Kaitlin
Young in April and July, respectively.