COMMENTARY | UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche via submission to retain her title on Saturday night. Rousey's victory capped off an interesting night of fights, including Lyoto Machida's close win over Dan Henderson and Urijah Faber's dominating performance against Ivan Menjivar.
Here are three thoughts on the UFC 157 main card:
History was made
There will be some fans and media who pick apart Ronda Rousey's fight with Liz Carmouche instead of truly appreciating what occurred in the cage. One year ago, few people believed that there would ever a women's MMA fight in the UFC, and now here we are with an entire division of fighters led by a deserving champion. That's something to be celebrated, regardless of how Rousey performed against Carmouche. The two women put on an outstanding show, which is what was needed after a rather dull co-main event.
There will still be some doubters out there, but Rousey and Carmouche proved that women belong in the UFC. Hopefully, the division will continue to grow over time.
A failure to impress
It was supposed to be a fight to determine the No. 1 contender to face either Jon Jones or Chael Sonnen for the light heavyweight title. Instead, the Dan Henderson/Lyoto Machida fight bored the crowd senseless for 15 minutes.
One of the more common sayings in MMA is that "styles make fights." In hindsight, it's clear that each fighter's style combined for a dull fight. Machida refuses to stand and bang with his opponents. He's not going to let a slower fighter like Henderson get a clean shot on him. Machida fought a smart fight by continually circling away from Henderson and relying on his countering ability. Henderson didn't bother to cut Machida's angles, and he rarely went for a takedown. Henderson played into Machida hands.
It probably seems as if I'm holding Henderson solely responsible for the fight, but Machida deserves some of the blame as well. Machida was content to let Henderson to come to him instead of initiating the action himself. His willingness to basically run away from Henderson for much of the bout deserves criticism. He may have won the fight, but Machida doesn't deserve a title shot.
What about Urijah Faber?
The UFC has a dilemma on its hands. Urijah Faber looked like his old self in his first round submission victory over Ivan Menjivar. However, Faber has also lost his last five title fights. He's clearly one of the best fighters in the bantamweight division, but no one wants to see him competing for the bantamweight crown right now. That puts the UFC in an awkward situation. You can't put Faber in there with the champion, but you also can't risk him beating someone who could be a fresh opponent for Renan Barao or Dominick Cruz. It will be interesting to see what the UFC does with Faber in the coming months.
Derek Ciapala has been following MMA for 20 years. He has been published on GatewayMMA.com, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.