UFC 157 Preview

Women in combat sports...are you ready?
Women in combat sports…are you ready?

By Stephen Kelley

Rousey vs. Carmouche will be the 157th installment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship shown on February 23. The fights will be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey (6-0-0) vs. Liz “ Girlrilla” Carmouche (6-2-0)
This fight will be ground breaking for the UFC and for Dana White. Rousey vs. Carmouche will be the first women’s bout in UFC history. This contest has tons of hype following the two ladies. Many say if Rousey does not win the women’s division she will be quickly swept out the door. Rousey is an attractive young face that White is putting his chips behind it seems. Rousey is a former Judo Olympic medalist that currently holds the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship facing Liz Carmouche, UFC’s first openly gay competitor. Liz Carmouche is proficient in Kenpo and BJJ. This fight looks like it’s set for Rousey to rout Carmouche to launch the Women’s division in the UFC but Rousey can’t underestimate Carmouche. Ultimately this fight is like your high school homecoming and your coach never schedules a loss for homecoming and White can’t take a loss here. My prediction: Rousey third round submission.

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (18-3-0) vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-8-0)
After both of these competitors tenure in both Pride and UFC I really can’t believe this is the first time these fighters are meeting. I believe Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida will be the best fight on the card. Henderson is on a hot streak of 4-1 in his last five fights and only one of those wins going to decision, all others were K.O. or T.K.O. by punches. Machida has only won two of his last five bouts, with one with an over-the-hill Randy Couture and Ryan Bader. I believe Machida will come to this fit and ready for action. This fight will be very fast paced, tons of punches thrown and absorbed. This fight will take me back to the old PRIDE days where Henderson stays in the pocket and throws graveyard right hands and Machida will throw huge karate kid combinations. My prediction: Henderson continues his roll, three rounds – unanimous decision.

Uriah “The California Kid” Faber (26-6-0) vs. Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (25-9-0)
Uriah is the WEC “Golden Boy” but his move to the UFC has been less than luster. Uriah has gone back in forth with wins and losses but always choking when the lights are brightest during interim Championships and the outright Bantamweight championship. This fight against Menjivar I feel will give Uriah the base to which he can rebuild his win column again. Menjivar fighting out of El Salvador has big wins in which he displays his amazing BJJ with ten of his 25 wins ending in submissions. Menjivar fights for the Tristar gym who trains with the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Kenny Florian, and Rory MacDonald so he is in great company. This fight will be quick paced with appendages flaying all over the place as if they threw two chimps in a cage to fight over a bushel of bananas. My Prediction: Uriah Faber – unanimous decision.

Josh “Kos” Koscheck (19-6-0) vs. Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler (18-9-0)
The first bout in the Pay-Per-View should be an exciting one and this has that appeal…in 2009. I feel Robbie Lawler is on his last string and Josh Koscheck is always a bridesmaid never a bride. The knockout power that Lawler used to possess is no longer there. With losses to Lakrin, Kennedy and Souza in Strikeforce, I feel Lawler is on his way out and just giving Koscheck another name to put under the belt. Koscheck has been one of my favorites with his no holds barred trash talk but when you have one of the best pound for pound fighters in your division in St-Pierre you’re just not going to reach the mountain top for a long time. I see Koscheck using his amazing amateur NCAA division one wrestling background to slam Lawler time and time again. My Prediction: Koscheck in the second round T.K.O. Punches.