At today’s ‘UFC On FOX 5’ pre-fight press conference female superstar Ronda Rousey was unveiled as the UFC’s first ever woman’s 135lb champion, and then her first opponent was revealed.
In a slightly surprising decision, Liz Carmouche was announced as the first challenger to Rousey’s title, with the fight set to go down as the main event of UFC 157 on February 23rd.
Another former Strikeforce fighter, Carmouche fought for the title last year while Marloes Coenen held the belt, and she gave her a run for money before succumbing to a fourth round submission. She then suffered a further defeat against Sarah Kaufman later that year, but she has since rebounded with two straight wins under the Invicta FC banner which takes her pro-record to 7-2.
I suggested earlier today that Marloes Coenen would be a first good opponent for Rousey after learning that Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos wouldn’t be ready in time, and I still feel that would have been the better fight to make here.
Maybe that wasn’t possible though, and so this is the nature of woman’s MMA at this moment in time though – there’s not a great deal of strength in depth. With that in mind Carmouche is an ok way to get things started.
As for the aforementioned ‘Cyborg’ – White says he’s confident that fight will happen following this one.
“That was obviously the fight we wanted to make at 135 pounds,” White said at the presser. “We worked hard to make that fight. I believe that this fight will happen and I truly believe the next fight will be the Cyborg one.”