Ronda Rousey’s UFC debut is upon us, ladies and gents.
UFC 157 brings two women face-to-face inside the Octagon for the first time in the company’s history, and fans and critics are foaming at the mouth in anticipation of this event.
While the women’s bantamweight champion, Rousey, and her challenger, Liz Carmouche, square off in the night’s most anxiously awaited bout, the rest of this fight card is stacked as well.
Let’s get our Nostradamus on and predict how the pay-per-view portion of this card will unfold.
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
I can’t remember a more awesome PPV opener than this one, folks.
UFC 65 led off with Joe Stevenson vs. Dokonjonosuke Mishima (who?), and now we’re leading off with two accomplished and polarizing veteran fighters. Needless to say, I like the progression of this sport.
Gushing fanboyism aside, Koscheck vs. Lawler is a pretty one-sided bout.
Lawler is always dangerous, and his punches can do this, but there is no reason Koscheck loses this fight.
Like he did against Paul Daley, I expect Koscheck to cast aside his punch-first mentality and use his wrestling to control Lawler for the bout’s duration.
This fight could get very interesting thanks to the power each of these welterweights packs, but Koscheck should dominate the ground game and overwhelm his opponent for the full 15 minutes.
Prediction: Josh Koscheck defeats Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision
Josh Neer vs. Court McGee
Sometimes the UFC’s match placement baffles me, and this matchup between Josh Neer and Court McGee perfectly represents one of those times.
McGee, a former The Ultimate Fighter winner, has never looked outstanding inside the Octagon, and Neer was brutally stopped in each of his last two fights.
Why this fight is above Koscheck vs. Lawler is beyond me, and I fear this fight will calm the excitement brewed by the night’s opening bout.
If the cut to welterweight doesn’t affect the former middleweight McGee too badly in the cardio and strength departments, he should easily handle Neer and mop the canvas with him in a dominant display of grappling.
To his credit, Neer is a gifted finisher—he has been to a decision just four times in 33 career victories—but I simply do not see him being able to overcome McGee’s size and his well-rounded ground game.
Prediction: Court McGee defeats Josh Neer via unanimous decision
We have two decisions in the bag, but fear not, violence mongers—the finishes are a coming.
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Urijah Faber has his hands full with the wily veteran Ivan Menjivar.
Of course, when your hands are as big as a Ken Doll’s, that’s not saying too much, but I digress.
“The California Kid” needs a win to stay relevant in the bantamweight division, and I think he possesses all the necessary tools to top Menjivar.
But it won’t come easy.
Menjivar will match Faber tit for tat on the feet and the ground for the bout’s opening two frames, but “The Pride of El Salvador” will slow late in trying to keep up with Faber’s torrid pace.
Always well conditioned, Faber will stagger Menjivar with punches late in the third round before sinking in the fight-ending rear naked choke.
With the win, Faber will once again find himself in the thick of title contention.
Prediction: Urijah Faber defeats Ivan Menjivar via rear naked choke, Round 3
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
I wrote an in-depth breakdown of this fight when it was first announced, and I still stand by my predictions on every level. Follow this link to check it out.
For the lazy readers out there (shame on you), here’s the result:
Prediction: Lyoto Machida defeats Dan Hnederson via TKO, Round 2
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche
Ahh, the glorious main event.
This much estrogen hasn’t graced the Octagon since any fight Kalib Starnes was involved in, and I’m stupidly excited to see the action unfold.
…What little action there will be, that is.
Look, Carmouche is an excellent fighter, and she is a worthy role model as the first openly gay fighter in UFC history.
I do not dislike her in any way, and I’m not trying to belittle her skills, but she is going to get schooled.
Rousey is 6-0 with six first-round finishes by armbar, and that streak is no fluke.
Her Olympic background is well-documented, and she has literally spent a lifetime honing her skills as a master of trips, throws, and armbars.
To steal Joe Rogan’s words, Ronda Rousey is for real.
Ms. Carmouche, I expect you to do great things inside the Octagon, but your appearance at UFC 157 is going to be a forgettable one.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey defeats Liz Carmouche via armbar, Round 1
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