SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
On Saturday, February 23, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be breaking barriers down as it hosts its first card headlined by a women's MMA bout. Women's Bantamweight champion "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey faces off against the "Girl-rilla" Liz Carmouche.
After being featured on one of the covers of Sports Illustrated's "The Body Issue" and being put front and center in many of the UFC's latest press promotions, Ronda Rousey is becoming the talk of the MMA town.
In Strikeforce, she won the Women's bantam weight title from champion Miesha Tate by mangling Tate's arm, and then defended said title against Sarah Kaufmann in dominant fashion.
In all of her professional bouts, she has won each of them via armbar within the first round. With her history as a Judoka, it came as no surprise, winning the Bronze in Beijing.
Liz Carmouche, on the other hand, faced a much different challenge. An open lesbian, she felt out of place in the military, and came out of the closet when she returned from her service.
Ever since, she's become a tough as nails fighter that has surprised many people. She was brought in to face former Strikeforce women's champion Marloes Coenen as a late replacement in September 2011. She took her into the deep waters and nearly defeating the champion. Afterwards, she gave title challenger Sarah Kaufmann all she could handle in a loss, followed by a two fight win streak.
Needless to say, the success of women's MMA rides upon this card. If it flops, women's MMA will go be in limbo. The card is also co-headlined by Dan Henderson facing Lyoto Machida in a title eliminator.
The card begins at 9PM Central Standard Time, with prelims begging at 8 on FX.