UFC history will be made when Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey takes on Liz Carmouche in the first-ever UFC women's bout (Photo by Dave Mandel, Sherdog.com).
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Written by Chris Cox (@CoxFight), Contributing Writer
Saturday night marks an epic turn for MMA. The very first UFC Women’s Title will be defended when undefeated Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey takes on Liz Carmouche, and the sport will take a major step on an international level.
In addition to the main event, let’s take a look at the other fights on this card, and I will tell you what I think we can anticipate tonight.
The first fight of the card is Josh Kosheck vs. Robbie Lawler. Both are seasoned vets of the game, and both are coming off a decent layoff from the cage. Lawler likes to scrap and is going to come in swinging for the fences to put Koscheck out, who has a very decent chin. He has only been knocked out once, and the stoppage was a bit disputed because it seemed to have come a bit early. Koscheck is pretty heavy handed himself, but I am looking for him to go right in and take this to the ground. It is what he is good at doing. Coming off a loss to Johny Hendricks in his most recent fight, I look for him to go back to his roots. However, Lawler trains with HIT squad and Matt Hughes, so he is going to be ready for the takedown attempts. Of course, it can become a totally different story once you step into that Octagon.
MY PREDICTION: I have Koscheck taking this fight by unanimous decision, 29-28.
The second fight of the night is Court McGee vs. Josh Neer. I don’t see this having a lot of fireworks. This will be the first fight as a welterweight for McGee. Let’s hope he is used to the weight cut already and won’t gas himself out early. He will look to get this fight to the ground quickly against Neer, who is very heavy handed. Neer will be desperate for a win, seeing that he has dropped his last two fights. McGee has a strong wrestling base, and, assuming he does come into the cage in good shape, you can look to see him use that to stifle Neer and grind out a decision.
MY PREDICTION: McGee by unanimous decision, 30-27, and look to see Neer unfortunately receive his pink slip from the UFC once more.
The third fight will be Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar, who is out of TriStar Gym up in Montreal with Georges St. Pierre and Rory MacDonald. He has made his presence known in the bantamweight division, securing Submission of the Night honors twice. The only problem is he is facing a man who is not easy to stop. In the UFC/WEC era, I have only seen Faber stopped in a fight once, and that was by the power of Mike Brown. I see Faber taking this one. His experience is just overwhelming, and he will always be a top fighter in this division who is capable of capturing that gold around his waist.
MY PREDICTION: I see Faber winning by submission in the late 2nd or 3rd round. Menjivar comes out of a great gym, but he is facing a Faber who is hard to finish.
In our co-main event, we see the return of a future Hall of Famer in Dan Henderson, taking on Lyoto Machida. Henderson has done a vast amount of things in this sport except capture UFC gold. He also has the power in his hands that I feel Machida has never truly faced, power that is going to keep Machida backing away and dodging. Machida was knocked out by Shogun, and, judging from his movement in past fights, he does not want to embrace that again. It’s going to be difficult for Hendo to secure a takedown on Machida, and I definitely don’t think this is going to be a cake walk. Machida is very elusive and used to wrestlers coming after him to end his movement, but not a wrestler with such power as Hendo. I see Machida trying to escape for most of the fight and preventing the fireworks that we would want.
MY PREDICTION: Henderson takes it via unanimous decision, 29-28.
Our final fight and pivotal moment in UFC history will be for the Women’s Bantamweight Title: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche. This fight will not go to a decision. I just don’t see that being physically possible. They both will come in attacking and ready to prove that they can steal the show. Rousey, a former Olympic Judokan Bronze Medalist, is the master of the armbar. She has ended every fight by it, and all in the first round. Carmouche is used to going into deeper rounds, and we have no idea what kind of cardio Rousey has. However, she is used to the spotlight, and I see her coming out to once again finish in the first round. If this fight does go past the first round, I am a little worried for her because Carmouche has some serious power in her hands.
MY PREDICTION: Rousey gets it the ground, securing a submission victory and likely Submission of the Night honors as well.
Overall, it will surely be an interesting night for the UFC with the first-ever Women’s Championship on the line, but I honestly see it opening the door for a bright future in the sport. These are my picks for the night, and I am sticking to them. Check me out on Twitter (@CoxFight) throughout the fights for more of my personal analysis.