Liz Carmouche took on Ronda Rousey in the first ever women’s UFC fight at UFC 157. Fans will remember that Carmouche had Rousey in serious trouble for the first time in Rousey’s career before eventually succumbing to the patented Rousey armbar. Carmouche returned to action on July 27 at UFC on Fox 8 and showed that her strong performance against Rousey was a sign of things to come.
Carmouche faced off against the 21-year old Jessica Andrade, who hails from Brazil and had a reputation as a finisher, as all 9 of her wins have been stoppages (4 TKOs and 5 submissions). Although it was Andrade’s first time in the Octagon, she came out aggressively by meeting Carmouche in the center of the cage and throwing some serious leather. After a few haymakers by both fighters, Carmouche worked Andrade to the cage and looked to control her younger opponent.
Carmouche controlled the clinch until she found an opening and dropped down for a double leg takedown, picking up and slamming her opponent. Once on the ground, the fight became a story of Carmouche looking for dominant positions and ground and pound. For the most part, Andrade did well to cover up and escape. In one explosive series of moves, Carmouche looked for what appeared to be a crucifix position, which allowed Andrade to stand and slam Carmouche to the ground. Carmouche immediately recovered and shot up into another double leg takedown, leading to Andrade locking up an arm-in guillotine. Both fighters showed composure from there, with Andrade patiently waiting for the opportunity to torque the submission and Carmouche keeping Andrade flat on her back where it is difficult to finish. The round ended with Carmouche still in the guillotine.
The second round started just as the first did, with the fighters meeting in the center of the cage and looking to do damage. After a couple of quick exchanges, Andrade rushed her opponent with a combination and Carmouche dropped levels beautifully for another double leg takedown. The fight was all Carmouche from there, as she passed Andrade’s guard and quickly transitioned to mount, to back control and back again repeatedly. Andrade did all she could to stay in the fight, but Carmouche was just too much: too much power in the ground and pound, too much control in the transitions and too much aggressiveness to allow Andrade to recover. Herb Dean eventually stepped in the stop fight with just over a minute left in the second round.
Carmouche proved in the Rousey fight that she is a legitimate contender who will not be intimidated by anyone. She proved in this fight that she has a legitimate skill set that every woman at 135 better take notice of. The future looks very bright for Carmouche, who no doubt will be looking for another shot at Rousey’s title. If she keeps improving at this rate, Carmouche may very well be the second-ever women’s UFC champion.