DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – UFC history will be made Saturday night in Anaheim, California, as for the first time ever, women will compete inside The Octagon.
It’s an attraction that just two years ago, UFC president Dana White said would never happen. Asked by a TMZ reporter outside “Mr. Chow’s” restaurant in L.A. when he could expect to see women fighting in The UFC, White simply replied “never”. And so it was, until Dana White sat cage side at a Strikeforce fight and watched Olympic judo medalist Ronda Rousey arm bar an opponent into submission.
This past August, White was back at Mr. Chow’s, and this time he had Ronda Rousey at his table.
He informed Rousey that she would be the first woman to ever be signed to a UFC contract, and she would be automatically be awarded the inaugural women’s title. Finding an opponent for Rousey’s first title defense would be his next item of business.
Liz “The Girl-Rilla” Carmouche is a significant underdog to Rousey in Saturday night’s UFC 157 main event (airing exclusively on pay per view, 9:00 pm central), but that speaks more to Rousey’s past dominance than it does to Liz’s record.
Carmouche has challenged veteran Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce women’s title, taking the fight on short notice and dominating the champion for three rounds before getting caught in a triangle choke. Carmouche also dropped a unanimous decision to Sarah Kaufman, who later challenged Rousey before losing to her via arm bar.
A former Marine, Carmouche served three tours of duty in Iraq over a five year period. It was near the end of her military career that she begin to train in mixed martial arts. She is also The UFC’s first openly gay athlete, and her partner was prominently featured (along with their bull terrier Elvis) in The UFC’s “Primetime” series that profiled both fighters and their training camps in the weeks leading up to the fight.