The UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche event will make history for a couple of reasons. It’ll be the first UFC event to feature women fighting, and will have the first openly gay fighter on a card in Liz Carmouche. It’s a decent card on paper, but the success or lack thereof could have major implications for the UFC going forward.
UFC President Dana White had made no bones about it, they are in the Ronda Rousey business and she needs to win on Saturday night. She needs to win impressively as she has done so in all of her fights as this entire event is basically about her. Let’s take a look at the top three questions going into this event:
Will Ronda Rousey will be able to move the needle as a PPV draw?
I wrote a few months ago that Ronda Rousey has the star power to be a legitimate PPV draw. She can fight, has charisma, her name moves the needle online, and she has the UFC machine promoting her. I wrote back then that if UFC 157 got anywhere near 300K PPV buys that this event would be a pretty large success. There are current UFC champions that couldn’t sniff 300K PPV buys if they fought twice, so a female headlining and doing that well is a win for the UFC. It opens up new avenues for the UFC as Rousey is able to reach certain platforms that other UFC fighters haven’t been able to get close to. This event on paper doesn’t have a great supporting cast as the co-main event fighters in Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida are past their primes, and neither have been huge PPV draws in their career. Urijah Faber is on the card but he will not make a major PPV impact on this card fighting Ivan Menjivar. So the buyrate that the event generates should be attributed to what Rousey brings to the table. I think she’ll be able to move the needle, but we’ll find out after Saturday night for sure.
Will Lyoto Machida or Dan Henderson look their respective ages on Saturday night?
Machida will be 35 years old in a couple of months and Dan Henderson is already 42 years old. Machida last fought in August 2012 and looked pretty sharp as he knocked out Ryan Bader, but Henderson hasn’t fought since November 2011 where he beat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in their epic war at UFC 139. He is also coming off a knee injury that kept him out of action for all of 2012. Will Henderson look old and sluggish out there against a fighter that moves like Machida? If Machida doesn’t look significantly better than Henderson performance wise, I think the writing will be on the wall for him as well. Henderson was supposed to receive a title shot last year, and is still in the mix if he beats Machida according to UFC President Dana White. Let’s see if he can turn the clock back one more time on Saturday night.
Does Liz Carmouche have any shot at beating Ronda Rousey on Saturday night?
Sometimes I see a fighter that’s a huge betting underdog and stylistically will give them a decent shot of winning the fight. I tweeted that Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva had a good chance of beating Alistair Overeem if he made it out of the first round. We saw what happened in round three huh? I just don’t see anyway Carmouche beats Rousey in this fight. I guess we could give her a puncher’s chance. She does have five wins via TKO/KO, but the chances of Carmouche being able to keep this fight standing are small. However, if she were to beat Rousey on Saturday night it would be a HUGE upset and the aftermath would be telling of the UFC plans going forward regarding women’s MMA. Let’s see if she can shock the world on Saturday night.
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