Sunday, February 24, 2013

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche - Ultimate Fighting Women

Rousey vs. Carmouche at UFC 157



Rousey: "...Damn, those girls did deserve to be in the main event."


On Saturday, February 23, 2013, in Anaheim, California, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey successfully defended her Bantamweight Championship against "Girl Rilla" Liz Carmouche in UFC's first women's bout. The night was history making. And inspiring.



The championship match was scheduled for 5 rounds. I hoped it would go the distance, or at least 2 rounds, but Rousey ended this fight the way she has all her other MMA bouts -- a first round submission with an armbar. Rousey remains undefeated at 7-0.


Equality.


There really is a shift to the feminine consciousness. Hu-rah! The Rousey-Carmouche bout was a groundbreaking moment for women's sports. Changing the face of women's athletics.


It doesn't hurt that the face of women's MMA still looks "non-threatening (read: pretty) even when she's scowling."


Rousey and Carmouche pose for the press at the weigh-in



Although the usual archetypes are present -- pretty, blonde franchise player and the tough, muscular, lesbian athlete -- they weren't the focus. The focus was on Rousey's judo expertise and lifelong fight training (since age 12). The focus was on Carmouche's service in the Marines, 3 tours in Iraq, training with men twice her size. In the grand scheme of things, Carmouche is almost an overnight sensation, she only started training during her last tour. Rousey is only 26 years old. Perhaps women in MMA and mainstream UFC will have a longer shelf life in the public eye than other women's sports -- football, WNBA, women's professional wrestling, boxing etc. primarily because men still make up the majority of the sports' fan base (how long before we hear the jokes about the blood in the Octagon being menstrual blood?).


An ex-marine who has done three tours of Iraq is not an easy opponent at all and she took Rousey to the limit. At the middle of the round, Carmouche attempted a rear choke while on Rousey's back. I worried the fight would be over easy. Rousey, it turns out, was worried about her bra coming down. Ha!


Those 2 are tough women. Determined. Focused. Definitely of the mindset of an athlete. Any woman who's pushed herself to the physical limits... and then some can relate to Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. I found myself squeezing my biceps while I watched the fight. I need heavier dumbbells.


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