UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche
With the recent inception of WMMA into the UFC, former Olympic medalist Ronda Rousey prepares to headline the organization’s first female PPV card against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in Anaheim, California.
Rousey’s effortless destruction so far over the rest of the women in her division continues to elevate her stock at the sportsbooks. Spanning over her last 3 title fights, she’s gone from -370 over Meisha Tate, to -700 over Sarah Kaufman and is now priced as high as -1200 against Carmouche.
The supremacy she’s displayed up this point in her career clearly speaks for itself. Through the 6 fight infancy of her career, she’s pulled off 6 straight first round armbars, finishing 5 out of those 6 opponents’ in under a minute.
Rhonda’s last 2 few fights in particular was where we saw the sportsbooks get a bit more creative in the prop market. Specifically, in her last title fight against Kaufman, bettors cashed on Fight won't go 1:00 into round 1at +325 betting odds & Rousey wins 0:01 to 1:00 of round 1 at +350
Generally, in the past, the prop-money has been heavily titled with action on Rousey- to -win-in-round-1 & Rousey-to-win-via-armbar. This time, though, bettors obviously won’t be given quite the bargain we’ve seen in her last two outings against Kaufmann & Tate, where both ITD props were hovering under -300 prior to those bouts.
Opposing Paths’ to Victory
So far, the combination of Rousey’s grip strength & elite takedown game has been the only two outlets she’s needed to finish her fights
Physically, however, Carmouche presents the type of challenge capable of matching the early aggression which Ronda typically looks to impose in the first few minutes of a fight. Her best chance at winning this match is catching Rousey as she sloppily rushes in for her first two or three takedown attempts, which is a flaw of Ronda’s that we saw minimally exposed by Meisha Tate.
The biggest deterrent from backing Liz, meanwhile, has to be watching her get muscled around for portions of her bouts against both Kaitlin Young & Sarah Kaufman, two girls who possess massively inferior grappling strength to Ronda Rousey.
However, the one redeeming performance on her record was against former Strikeforce Women’s champion Marloes Coenen, who Carmouche managed to out-grapple and even mount in the second round of their fight together.
Her top game has clearly shown to be one of her strongest assets, so if she does manage to take this fight into the second round- where we’ve yet to see Rhonda’s conditioning tested- she may be able to surprise Rousey with some of the under-appreciated grappling ability that she herself has shown glimpses of throughout her career.
Of the two lines currently available - Rousey wins in round 1 at -350 & Carmouche SU at +650, the only minor value I can see would have to be on Carmouche as the dog.
While I fully expect Rhonda to secure another first round armbar, I still feel as though there’s greater than a 14 % chance- as the line implies- that Liz can be the first opponent to take Rousey into the second round and hopefully test her suspect cardio and resolve.
UFC Prediction: Liz Carmouche +650 via 2nd round TKOGood luck with your upcoming UFC Picks~