On Feb. 23, Ronda Rousey, UFC’s first officially signed female fighter, will headline her debut on UFC 157, broadcast on PPV from Anaheim, Calif. After weeks of speculation about when she will make her debut (read the Rousey debut lead-up), President Dana White confirmed the fight at a press conference in Seattle.
The undefeated Rousey, a former judo Olympian, will face off against Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche—perhaps her toughest opponent yet. For weeks, Cris Cyborg was rumored to become Rousey’s debut challenger; however, Cyborg is unable to fight Rousey as a result of her current suspension. Also, Cyborg is now too heavy to compete in the bantamweight class—weighing in ten pounds over the 135-pound weight limit.
Rousey is officially UFC’s female bantamweight champion now, after being presented with the title at the Seattle press conference. Rousey will enter the fight with a record of 6-0, all of her victories having come in the first round. Carmouche’s record stands at 7-2.
Once upon a time, Dana White stated that no women would ever compete in UFC, but times have changed. Rousey and Carmouche will headline a PPV event in a sport that is largely male-dominated. (Find out what made White change his mind.) The Honda Center in Anaheim will host UFC 157. It will be the site of a historic night, for the promotion as well as for MMA as a whole.
Rousey stated: “It means a lot. I feel like we have a lot to prove at this event, and no one’s going to be disappointed. The women are here to stay and we’re gonna prove it.”