Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
MMAmania.com will have all the latest updates for today's UFC 157 media conference call, which features women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and her challenger Liz Carmouche, as well as elite light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida. Get all the details below.
Rousey is the current UFC women's bantamweight champion. After winning a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics, she made the transition to MMA and has won every single fight via first round armbar. After winning and defending the Strikeforce women's 135 pound title, she was awarded the UFC title in the transition to the big show last December.
Carmouche is a former Strikeforce women's bantamweight title challenger, giving Marloes Coenen all she could handle for nearly four rounds before getting caught in a submission. The "Girl-rilla" won two straight fights at the first two Invicta events and was the only women willing to take on Rousey in her inaugural UFC title defense.
Henderson is the former Strikeforce and Pride FC light heavyweight champion, as well as the former Pride middleweight champ. After a career resurgence that included big wins in Strikeforce over Rafael Cavalcante and Fedor Emelianenko, "Hendo" was brought over to the UFC where he had perhaps the greatest fight of all time against Mauricio Rua, which was supposed to earn him a title shot. Unfortunately, he injured his knee, which eventually led to UFC 151's cancelation
And after what feels like an eternity, he'll finally be fighting again to potentially earn a shot at the champ once more.
Machida is also a former champion, winning the UFC Light Heavyweight belt from Rashad Evans and defending it once before having his reign prematurely ended. After working his way toward another shot, he was choked unconscious by current champion Jon Jones. In his return bout on Fox, he violently knocked out Ryan Bader in a fight that was supposed to earn him another shot at the champ, but instead must now fight Henderson to prove himself.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call will begin at 2 p.m. ET.
Ronda Rousey: There's more attention here than in the Olympics. There were 500 Olympians and only so many high profile people here on the fight card. There's so much less focus for the Olympics and it's more work because you're on your own when now I've got a whole team.
Liz Carmouche: So far, it's been rewarding. It's definitely a change from past fights, but meeting new people and old faces has been a great thing.
Dan Henderson: I think it's great. I've got no problem. Fighting only three rounds is kind of nice. I'm definitely a fan and I'll be watching when my fight's over.
Ronda Rousey: What really helped the most was having a world champion around the house, it made it seem attainable. It made it seem possible because my mom was the best in the world at Judo at one point. It gave me confidence from the very beginning that I think most kids wouldn't have.
Ronda Rousey: The pressure I put on myself is bigger than the pressure on everyone else's motives. I feel more about winning for myself than winning for everybody else.
Dan Henderson: It's kind of sad that it happens, the sport that's been there the longest at the Olympics. I've been hearing that being threatened for at least 20 years now. Hopefully it doesn't stay that way. It's just unfortunate.
Dan Henderson: I guess it's not as exciting as other sports and doesn't get TV coverage. It's definitely not as exciting as MMA but I enjoy it and think it's a great sport. It's really sad to see it going.
Dan Henderson: We're the only country that does folkstyle wrestling and that'll still be there in high school and colleges. It's hard to say in the wrestling community. Kids will still try to get better.
Ronda Rousey: I was really surprised when I heard it this morning. The only reason I could think of is that a few countries are overly dominant. That's why they took softball out. It's a shame. It's the oldest sport in all the Olympics and they're replacing it with golf. If you don't break a sweat, it's not a sport. It's a skill. Wrestling is one of the most difficult, one of the root sports of the Olympics and I think they're destroying part of the history by getting rid of it.
Dan Henderson: Just like any fight, there's a lot on the line and he's definitely gonna be a huge challenge. I'm not looking past this fight. I'm making sure my gameplan is there and my mind is in the right place.
Lyoto Machida: I believe that out of this fight, whoever wins should definitely be the contender for the title. If we're number one and number two, the title shot should definitely be on the line with this fight.
Lyoto Machida: I had 20 days to prepare for the fight and Jon Jones had a full training camp. It wasn't the same situation. Everything happens for a reason.
Dan Henderson: I don't think it affects MMA getting into the Olympics at all. They need to limit the number of athletes at the Olympics but MMA is exciting enough on its own that it has its shot to get in there. Hopefully they can work it out to get wrestling back always.
Ronda Rousey: Without wrestling in the Olympics, there would be a large drop in kids enrolling. It's just a shame. I don't know what's gonna happen with wrestling. I don't think it'll affect whether MMA gets included or not.
Ronda Rousey: I think I still would have done judo. My mom competed in judo and when she first started, there was no world championship. When she felt like she won all she could have done, she did other things and when they added a world championship, she came back. The British Open was like the Abu Dhabi for the day. I would have taken the sport as far as I could and whatever the equivalent of the world championship.
Dan Henderson: I probably wouldn't have dropped out of college to wrestle internationally and make the Olympic team if it wasn't an Olympic sport. I might have gotten into MMA earlier. I wouldn't trade my Olympic experience for anything.
Dan Henderson: It was very unstable. I didn't need surgery, but that prolonged it a bit and I tried to get in and train on it and do things on it which may have made the healing process a little bit slower. It's good now and I'm able to go 100 percent.
Ronda Rousey: People in interviews, a lot of times they go on for hours. It's like an interrogation and they wear you down emotionally. It's a lot of media and it gets to the point where there's so many people asking questions like that and they ask you the good memories and immediately jump to the hard questions. I got to the point where I was fed up with being asked to recount that over and over. That's the final time I'll ever talk about the way my father died. I decided to tell the story in the best way I could.
Liz Carmouche: I've had a lot of positive feedback. People had insight into my life and it gave them a little bit more and people calling the gym where I train to verify that I work there. I've had a lot of people wish me luck.
Ronda Rousey: I think moving away to train when I was 16 years old, I never really lived at home again after that. That forced me to grow up fast and it toughened me up a lot to be devoted 100 percent to my sport. It made me set my priorities and I'm still very grateful for that experience.
Ronda Rousey: A lot of discipline and stuff. We would wake up at 6:00 in the morning and go running in 20 degrees below weather. It was constant all the time. It was a lifestyle, it wasn't a hobby. It wasn't something where you went to school and then judo afterwards. It helped me a lot and what I took the most from it was the mental toughness of being a teenage girl that had to pick up and move across the country for something that was casually a goal of mine before that that became my life.
Ronda Rousey: These are things that needed to be done for a long time. Of course there's a lot of big obstacles in the way and I'm taking all of them seriously.
Ronda Rousey: Cyborg hasn't had a win in two years and she needs to keep making a fuss just to make her name. I have a lot of options and she doesn't. She can keep being "Cryborg" and all that. I'm not spending any of my time worried about her because Liz Carmouche has 100 percent of my attention right now.
Ronda Rousey: I think it's a very interesting match-up. I've had my eye on Cat Zingano for a while. She's one of the only other undefeated female fighters. I'll be there myself and I'd love to fight the winner. I think it would be nice to have Cat win and just to have another name that's well known in the girl's ranks. If Miesha wins, I wouldn't be against fighting her at all.
Ronda Rousey: Yeah, I love the fact that even before this fight is happening that they're already scheduling more girl's fights. Now all the people that say the outcome of this fight will depend on the division. It's really encouraging. I'm happy to see that it's not just about me and Liz. It's all the girls.
Liz Carmouche: I think there's evidence that they're trying to build up the women's bantamweight division. I don't think they would make a title fight between myself and Ronda without something to fall back up.
Ronda Rousey: In the Olympics, the stakes are so much higher. You get one chance every four years and if you get flipped on your back once, it's over. There's nothing that could ever prepare for the pressure of the Olympic games and that's why I'm so successful in MMA. In MMA you get one fight every few months and the pressure is significantly less.
Ronda Rousey: My mom wasn't too hot about the decision to switch to MMA. She said I had a year to prove myself and I debuted on March 23rd 2011 and I won the title on March 3rd 2012 so I made it 20 days early.
Ronda Rousey: I'm always able to go five rounds. That's what I prepare for. I don't walk in hoping it would be a one round fight. Every time I come up for a new fight, I have a whole more striking experience under my belt. I take the striking part of my game really seriously.
Ronda Rousey: I definitely noticed that there's a lot more girls around. I never had to lock the bathroom at the gym before but now I do.
Liz Carmouche: I teach a children's MMA program at my gym and when we started, we had one girl, but now we have multiple girls in the program.
Ronda Rousey: It would be sooooo fun [to coach TUF] whether it's a season for guys where they'd have to respect the female head coaches or girls. It would be hilarious to have a bunch of girls on the show to see my coach being tortured by girl problems. The first time I hear a girl complain because she can't come to practice due to cramps, I'll die laughing.