When Liz Carmouche stepped into the UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout opposite titleholder Ronda Rousey at UFC 157, many people believed she hadn’t yet earned her position as title challenger.
She nearly caught Rousey in a submission that night. If that weren’t enough to make believers out of her doubters, Carmouche’s follow-up performance at UFC on Fox 8 on Saturday night should make converts of the remaining skeptics.
Carmouche stepped in the Octagon with 21-year-old Brazilian fighter Jessica Andrade in Seattle, immediately taking control.
She put Andrade up against the cage early, but quickly took her to the mat, employing her harsh ground and pound attack. Carmouche looked like she might just run away with the fight, but Andrade someone regained her feet late in the round and slammed Carmouche to the canvas.
Andrade locked on an arm-in guillotine choke and held it for the duration of the round, but Carmouche remained calm and road it out to the horn.
In round two, it was all Carmouche. She wasted no time putting Andrade back on the mat, where she quickly moved to mount and unleashed a relentless ground and pound assault.
Andrade continually flipped back and forth from her back to her stomach, but Carmouche held mount all the while, feeding the Brazilian a steady diet of punches and elbows. Andrade could not find a way out from under the punishment, until referee Herb Dean eventually called a halt to the fight at the 3:57 mark of round two.
The victory was Carmouche’s first for the promotion, but it also set a couple of UFC milestones in these early moments of women in the Octagon. She became the first female fighter to compete twice in the UFC, and also the first to notch a victory and a loss on her UFC resume.
Carmouche is now surely back into the title talk mix, as Ronda Rousey next defends her belt against Miesha Tate at UFC 168 in December.
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