Ronda Rousey. Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

Uncaged: Here come the girls

This weekend sees the UFC hold its first ever women’s fight with Ronda Rousey taking on Liz Carmouche.

THE UFC MAKES history this weekend as it stages its first ever woman’s bout, a championship clash between “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.

There is no doubt that all eyes will be focused on how the main event will pan out and that will probably over-shadow the rest of an impressive card. Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson do battle in the light heavyweight division while Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar face off in what should be a frantic affair.

Two welterweight bouts make up the main card with Court McGee and Josh Neer both looking to snap two-fight losing streaks while Josh Koscheck is back in action for the first time since last May when he faces Robbie Lawler.

A main event of huge importance

The UFC faces a watershed moment this weekend in California and rarely has the importance of an entire division rested so squarely on one fighter’s shoulders. While the hierarchy would never admit it, anything less than a Ronda Rousey win could stunt the growth of a division in its infancy.

Rousey’s star has risen so rapidity that it prompted an apparent change of heart from Dana White, who created the UFC’s first female division with Rousey as champion, signalling the transaction from the now defunct Strikeforce organisation.

It is tempting to get caught up in all talk and hype away from the action but this is the fighting business so it is important to focus on what is going to happen inside the Octagon. Rousey boasts an impressive 6-0 MMA record and also has an Olympic bronze medal for Judo when she competed in Beijing in 2008.She faces gritty ex-marine Liz Carmouche who seemed to be the only person willing to step up and face the formidable task of trying to dethrone Rousey.

This fight does have an air of predictability about it as the strengths of both fighters are well-known. Rousey possesses one of the most lethal arm-bars in MMA and having won all of her six fights by this method; Carmouche will try to be the first person to defend it successfully.

Carmouche on the other hand, has shown the KO power in her hands in the past and will look to turn out Rousey’s lights before she gets the chance to take it to the ground.

“Rowdy” is a strong favourite for a reason and her elite Judo skills should prove too much for Carmouche to handle. Regardless of the outcome, an exciting fight could serve to ignite a division that needs a good start if it is to have any future in the organisation.


Best of the rest

Added incentive has been added to Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson’s matchup as Dana White announced this week that the winner would face the winner of the Jon Jones/Chael Sonnen for the light heavyweight belt.

It almost feels as if this could be the last crack at glory for Dan Henderson as he missed out on Jon Jones already through injury last year and a loss here might signal the end for the forty two year old. This fight is a finely balanced affair though but if “Hendo” can seek out the ever-elusive Machida with one of his signature right-hands, then he will definitely prolong his career.

The Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar bout promises to be a fast-paced scrap which has all the hallmarks of a “fight of the night” contender. Faber needs to get his career back on track after losing two of his last three fights and he should have too much both on the feet and the ground to overcome “The Pride of El Salvador.”

Josh Koscheck will look to grind out another victory against the dangerous striker Robbie Lawlor while Josh Neer will need to get the job done early against the durable Court McGee if he is to stand any chance of winning.

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