It may a bit of an understatement to say that former Stirkeforce title contender Liz “Girlrilla” Carmouche (5-2) has a chance to make history.
On Feb. 23, Carmouche will be one of two women competing in the octagon for the first time. The other is “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight title holder and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight title holder who is also undefeated at 6-0, with all six of her fights ending in the first round via armbar.
If Carmouche can defeat Rousey, not only will she be the first fighter to hand the “Rowdy” one her first defeat, but also become a UFC champion.
In just her short career, Rousey has faced expert grapplers in Miesha Tate and Sarah D’Alelio and powerful strikers like Sarah Kaufman and Julia Budd.
While it could be said that Kaufman, a former Strikeforce title holder, could have had the hands and power to knock out Rousey, the champion absorbed a quick striking combination by Kaufman before taking her to the canvas and catching her in the armbar.
So what chance does Carmouche have against the force of Rousey. Like the champion, Carmouche has a killer instinct and power that easily brings her opponents to the canvas.
Her last two fights were both finishes, one was a submission victory over women’s MMA veteran Kaitlin Young and the other a two-minute TKO victory over Ashleigh Curry. She was also in a war against Kaufman back in 2011 where she lost a decision in a fight that some fans felt she won.
The only time Carmouche has been finished in her career was in the title fight against Marloes Coenen where she dominated the fight until the fourth round where Coenen caught her in a triangle choke.
In an interview with MMAJunkie.com, UFC President Dana White, whose adoration for Rousey is well-known, said that Carmouche has a dangerous ground and pound that could spell trouble for the champion.
“The fight’s going to end up on the ground, that girl will probably end up on top, and she drops bombs. Ronda pulls off armbars, but if you don’t pull it off quick enough, you start getting hit with some bombs.”
Carmouche has the tools to neutralize Rousey’s grappling and could easily control the fight once she gets the champion to the ground. Yet there is still a lot to Rousey’s game that fans may have not seen.
One thing is for certain, Feb. 23 will be a historical night for not only for Carmouche, but all of women’s MMA.
What do you think of Carmouche’s chances against Rousey? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.