The UFC has never invested more in a fighter than they have in Ronda Rousey and with good reason. Rousey has gotten the company more publicity in a shorter time than any fighter in UFC history. However, will it be all for nothing if Liz Carmouche can pull off the upset at UFC 157?
[adinserter name=”366 left”]I will be the first one to admit that I don’t get the fascination with Rousey whatsoever. It isn’t as if Rousey is either the best or prettiest fighter to come along in WMMA. Yet for whatever reason the media have swarmed to Rousey and turned into the biggest star in the UFC. This is all great if Rousey lives up to the billing but what happens if this all comes crashing down quicker than you can say Cyborg?
A desperate fighter is a dangerous fighter and Liz Carmouche is a desperate fighter. Carmouche still holds down a part time job and doesn’t have the financial security that Rousey has. This is truly a Rocky story and if Carmouche can pull off the upset, her life would greatly change. But can she do it? You better believe she can.
What has Rousey proven? Rousey’s biggest win came over Miesha Tate and an impressive win it was. But we aren’t talking about an unstoppable machine are we? We are talking about a woman who thus far has proven to be a one-trick pony. I am not saying she doesn’t have more tricks up her sleeve, but thus far I have only seen one. One thing MMA history has shown me over the last two decades is that you can only get so far on one trick. Is UFC 157 the finale?
I believe the key to beating Rousey is to bring the attack to her. She has dominated offensively with her impressive judo skills and throws but what would happen if Carmouche turns it into a slugfest? Carmouche has only gone to two decisions in her entire MMA career. Five of her wins have come from TKO or KO. This is not a woman you want to underestimate. She is just as capable of landing a lucky punch as Emmanuel Newton.
I have also read a lot of people mock Carmouche’s record. “Who has she beaten?” Who in the world has Ronda Rousey beaten? Miesha Tate and Sarah Kaufman aren’t slouches, but it isn’t as if she went in there and beat Anderson Silva. Sure she has fought and won against better competition, but we are talking about a woman who has only fought top competition twice. I don’t think that makes her unbeatable.
So what if after all of this publicity Rousey loses to a fighter she is heavily favored to beat? Unfortunately the problem with Rousey is she has been shoved down the UFC fans’ throats so hard that there are plenty of people waiting for her to lose. In that case a loss could be a good thing. It makes her human. On the other hand you could have the backfire of Rousey being considered all hype and no substance which is something that is very hard to fight back from.
One problem is the yellow elephant in the room and that Cyborg. Nobody in the UFC would ever say it but the big payoff with Rousey is the eventual Cyborg vs. Rousey fight. That fight loses a lot of appeal if either one of the two loses before it happens. Quite honestly I don’t even know if it happens if one if them loses before then. Every UFC superstar needs a rivalry and this is one that will put more money in UFC’s pockets than any WMMA fight possible. A loss to Carmouche could greatly impact that fight from ever even happening.
The biggest problem I have here is that the UFC has put all of their eggs into one basket. Without Rousey there would be no WMMA in the UFC. If she is tarnished, what happens to the rest of the fighters? Would the UFC ever get this kind of media attention ever again for a WMMA fight? Would Dana White just completely give up on it altogether? These are all questions that nobody can answer.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]As a sports fan I can tell you that there is more money in the rematch when it comes to upsets. Those fans that were turned off by the overexposure of Rousey may now find her a sympathetic character and get behind her as a challenger. She certainly loses her mystique but that is something she could get back with a convincing win, showing WMMA fans that the loss was merely an upset.
Or it can all blow up in everyone’s faces.