john lawrence looks at the historic ppv…
I don’t think that I really need to emphasize the importance of a fight card that features the very first women’s UFC fight, that also happens to be the first UFC women’s title fight, and also just happens to be the main event of the evening. A lot of fans disagreed with the choice of it being the headline fight, especially considering the bevy of UFC legends that are also fighting on the card. Fortunately for the UFC, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche are no strangers to pressure. Rousey was the first female fighter ever signed to the UFC. She was the first American ever to win two Judo World Junior Medals. Following that, she became the first American (male of female) to ever win an Olympic medal in Judo (Bronze in 2008 Olympics). Rousey’s mother was also the first American to ever win a World Judo Championship. Carmouche spent five years as an active duty Marine, serving three tours of duty in the middle east as a helicopter electrician. I guess you could say we have an American hero against an American badass.
At the end of the night they left no doubt that the UFC brass made the right choice in making them the main event. After a lackluster (to say the very least), performance between two former champions, Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson, these women came out and showed us what women’s mma is all about. Despite the fact that the fight didn’t even make it out of the first round, these women put on a hell of a fight. From the word fight, these two went right at each other, exchanging punches and clinching up. Eventually Carmouche was able to take Rousey’s back standing up and attempted a rear naked choke. Rousey fought off the choke, only to get caught up in a brutal neck crank. Somehow, Rousey escaped the rear mount and was able to stage her own offensive. Right to the ground they went and , in true Ronda Rousey form she was able to lock in an armbar. Rousey is now 7-0 in her MMA career, winning all seven fights via armbar. Welcome to the UFC ladies.
Winner via Armbar: Ronda Rousey
In the Light Heavyweight division we saw two legends of the sport, Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, put on the worst fight of the evening. It was three rounds of nothingness. Moving on.
Winner via sucking just a little less: Lyoto Machida
UFC 157 also marked the return of one of my all time favorite fighters, Ruthless Robbie Lawler. Lawler had not fought for the UFC since 2004, which also marked his jump up to the middleweight division. For his return to the welterweight division, and to the UFC, his opponent was Josh Koschek. These two definitely showed up to fight. Koschek was able to put Lawler on his back early in the first, but was unable to capitalize on the takedown. Lawler got back to his feet and the two started exchanging punches. Unfortunately for Koschek, Lawler was able to come out on top of the exchange, knocking him down and finishing him off with a few more nice right hands. Lawler proved to everyone that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division, and I definitely look forward to watching his rise to the top. Welcome back Robbie.
Winner via TKO: Robbie Lawler
In the bantamweight division we saw a battle between fan favorite Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar. This fight was great and definitely showed why fans still love “The California Kid”. It began with a takedown and Urijah gaining top control. Menjivar was able to get back to his feet, but could still not shake the former champ. Faber held on to Menjivar on the way up, and took his back. Faber sunk in a rear naked choke that would end the fight in the first round.
Winner via rear naked choke: Urijah Faber
Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee dropped down to the welterweight division to put on a striking clinic against Josh Neer. McGee who lost his last few fights in the middleweight division, looked absolutely flawless in his victory over Neer. In the first, he beat Neer’s body to a pulp, and it looked like the fight might end there, but Neer was able to make it out of the round. In the second round, Mcgee switched gears and started working on the head, continuing to outstrike Neer. In the third round, McGee changed it up yet again, showing us his ground and pound. While he was not able to finish off Neer, this was still a phenomenal fight that showcased an abundance of talent for McGee.
Winner via unanimous decision: Court McGee
Now, while I don’t normally write about the preliminary fights, there is definitely one that I need to talk about. Featherweights Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice threw down in an epic battle that will definitely be put in contention for “Fight of the Year”. The fight appeared to be very one sided through most of the first round. Bermudez was able to secure the top mount and rain down a ton of punches on Grice. But Grice, not to be outdone, was able to get back to his feet towards the end of the round and level Bermudez with a vicious left hook. Bermudez still looked a little groggy through most of the second, but continued to fight and defend against Grice’s attacks. The third round, for me, is where this fight took off. From the opening bell in the third round, these two beat the hell out of each other. Grice continued with his game plan of kicks and punches and Bermudez kept switching it up using Superman punches, leg kicks, combos. I think at one point I truly saw a kitchen sink in his hands. This fight was really a highlight reel in itself for both fighters, but unfortunately, only one can win.
Winner via split decision: Dennis Bermudez
The remaining undercard fight results:
Brendan Schaub def. Lavar Johnson via unanimous decision
Michael Chiesa def. Anton Kuivanen via submission (rear naked choke)
Sam Stout def. Caros Fodor via split decision
Kenny Robertson def. Brock Jardine via submission (kneebar)
Neil Magny def. Jon Manley via unanimous decision
Nah-Shon Burrell def. Yuri Villefort via unanimous decision
UFC fight Honors:
Fight of the Night: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Sumission of the Night: Kenny Robertson
KO of the Night: Robbie Lawler
My Post Fight Honors:
Best time to take a bathroom break: Machida vs. Henderson
Worst time to blink: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Most unexpected moment: Liz Carmouche’s near submission
Most expected moment: Ronda Rousey’s armbar