The first women’s fight in UFC history takes place Saturday night in Anaheim, and the opponents are San Diego’s Liz Carmouche and the L.A. area’s Ronda Rousey. Not only are they on the show, but their match is headlining the event.
Rousey was named the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion after UFC acquired Strikeforce and began integrating their fighters into UFC. This follows a long resistance to women in UFC, but Rousey is the great hope of women’s fighting, seen as a marketable superstar ready to break out.
Rousey has deep California roots. She was born in Riverside County, and trains at several gyms throughout the Los Angeles area.
Before getting into ultimate fighting, Rousey competed in the Olympics and became the first American woman to win the bronze medal in judo. She uses those skills learned in the judo world in UFC to take down opponents, winning all of her fights both as an amateur and a pro with first-round armbars.
Her opponent, Liz Carmouche, doesn’t have the same flash, but she’s trying to prove that she’s more than an underdog. A win against Rousey would catapult her career and change the direction of women’s fighting in UFC.
Carmouche is the first openly gay fighter in UFC. Carmouche also served in the Marines, including several tours in Iraq.
The show is showing momentum, despite the lack of track record for women fighting on pay-per-view; ticket sales picked up following the first primetime special promoting the show, the Wrestling Observer reports.
UFC produced a three-part TV series promoting the fight; you can watch the full series below: