UFC no longer a man’s world
Female division punches through barriers
Bobby Danger Jones
History was made in Anaheim, California on Feb. 23, when the first women’s headlining fight took place and the first women’s champion was crowned.
The ass-kicking poster woman for the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight Division, Ronda Rousey (7-0), was again victorious thanks to her seventh straight arm-bar submission.
The challenger — and former marine who served three tours of duty in Iraq — Liz Cartmouche (7-3), was able to mount a standing Rousey with a rear-naked choke early in the first round, taking the champ the furthest in any bout of her short two-year MMA career.
Following the match, Rousey told reporters that it “was the most vulnerable position I’ve been in so far in my career. That was pretty tight, that neck crank, and I was very happy to get out of it.
“She had the choke across my mouth and her forearm was pushing against my teeth. That can’t have been any more fun for her than it was for me. Crazy sport we’re in, huh?”
After escaping the hold, it seemed inevitable that Rousey would win when — with 11 seconds left in the first, Rousey got side control after gaining hold of Cartmouche’s arm, bending it backward until she tapped.
The woman’s fight was made even better by following a yawner of an undercard bout, where Lyoto Machida (19-3) counter-punched and picked Dan Henderson (29-9) apart in a slow three round split decision victory.
Urijah Faber (28-6) also got his career rolling again, beating Ivan Menjivar (25-11) with an acrobatic standing rear-naked choke late in the first round, forcing Menjivar to tap while on his feet, and once again secure himself as a top contender in the bantam weight division.
To the delight of UFC fans everywhere, Robbie Lawler, in his first UFC appearance since late 2004, took out Josh Koshcheck with a flurry of strikes, and with 1:03 left in the first Lawler earned the knockout of the night.
Cour McGee also beat Josh Neer in his welterweight debut.