What Happens If Ronda Rousey Loses at UFC 157?

By Adam Martin

UFC 157 is just around the corner, and along with it comes the
first-ever women’s MMA fight in the promotion’s 20-year history.

In the main event of the evening, former Strikeforce women’s
bantamweight champion and newly-crowned UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey meets challenger Liz Carmouche in a fight that’s scheduled to go five
rounds, yet more than likely won’t get past one.

You see, Rousey is something special. In all six of her pro MMA
bouts, and in all three of her amateur bouts before that, Rousey has finished
her opponents in the first round with her patented armbar. Eight of those
finishes, by the way, came in the first minute, with only Miesha Tate surviving
past the one-minute mark.

Safe to say Rousey is a stud, and the UFC is banking on her
becoming one of their cash cows in the future.

The UFC knows Rousey is an attractive young woman who is an
absolute killer in the cage, and someone that can become a huge star at the box
office for the company. That’s why UFC president Dana White gave Rousey a UFC
belt despite her having made only one title defence in Strikeforce, and despite
the fact she has held the Number 1 spot in the women’s rankings for less than a
year. The UFC knows how dominant the former Olympian judoka is, and that’s why
they have her headlining a pay-per-view card ahead of male legends Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida.

The UFC is banking on her winning, and the oddsmakers agree,
with Rousey currently sitting as a 12-to-1 favorite. Everyone thinks she should
run through Carmouche and continue on her winning ways, and that’s more than
likely what’s going to happen.

But what if she loses? What if Carmouche wins? Then what?

This is a scenario I don’t think the UFC is planning for. I
believe they gave Rousey a favorable matchup in Carmouche – another fighter who
likes to fight on the ground – and they feel this is just the start of
something special.

But let’s say Carmouche catches Rousey with a fluke punch, just
like when  Seth Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice with a jab that made EliteXC
collapse. Or let’s say that she beats Rousey with a fluke injury, like when
Vitor Belfort cut Randy Couture’s eyelid and won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship back in the day. Or what if everyone is overlooking the powerful
Carmouche and she just beats the living snot out of Rousey from the opening
bell? If Carmouche beats Rousey, will the UFC end this women’s MMA experiment
they have going on, and will they start to push Carmouche as their new star,

It’s been pretty obvious all along that the UFC’s women’s
division is all about Rousey, and White has even gone on the record to admit
that. If you watch the Primetime shows, nearly three quarters of the content is
dedicated to Rousey. Carmouche is, for all intents and purposes, just an
opponent and nothing more. The UFC doesn’t think she’ll win, and neither do the

But what if?

It’s a question that we’ll find the answer to on Saturday
night, but if I had to guess, if Carmouche upsets Rousey the UFC will give her
an immediate rematch, even if the fight isn’t competitive. They’re banking
everything they have on her to come away with the W, and if she doesn’t, she’ll
get another chance to do so.

The future of women’s MMA in the UFC
depends on Rousey coming through with a big victory this weekend – or else.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche is due to take place on February 23, 2013 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

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