You read their articles, you watch and listen to their interviews, but often the personal opinions of the mixed martial arts (MMA) media get brushed over.
These media members have inside knowledge of the sport and a unique perspective of the fighters they have the privilege of interacting with. Before you place that bet in Vegas or with your friends, be sure to check out what those most educated about the sport have to say about the upcoming event.
Mike Bohn (MMA Mania): Death. Taxes. Rousey by first-round armbar.
Dave Doyle (MMA Fighting/SI.com): If Ronda Rousey really is the women's version of Royce Gracie, then Liz Carmouche is her Kimo Leopoldo. Rousey will win, and do so by armbar. But not before Carmouche, who's not going to be intimidated by her opponent or the spotlight, puts a scare into both Rousey and Dana White. Rousey via armbar, round two.
Damon Martin (Bleacher Report): I'm probably not going to be different from anybody else here but I'm picking Ronda Rousey to win by first round armbar. Liz Carmouche is a tough fighter, she's a Marine so of course she's tough. But this time around, she's the sacrificial lamb to the UFC gods who want to introduce Rousey to the world. Ronda Rousey wins again and then looks around for whose next
Chuck Mindenhall (ESPN): The one area that Carmouche has an advantage over Rousey is in the "what do I have to lose?" department. She can go in there and give it the old Marine try, throw some leather, try and to fiddle with Rousey's will. These are fun, optimistic things to mull. But even with all the pressure in the red corner it's hard to imagine Rousey slipping in her first big spot. Here's guessing we'll see more of the old "try and stop it" telegraphy -- a little mean-mugging, a little judo and a lot of agonizing armbar, with Carmouche shaking her head in bemused frustration at the end. Rousey via first-round submission.
Guilherme Cruz (Tatame): No need to talk too much about this one. Ronda takes Liz down and snaps another arm for her collection, keeping the hype alive in less than three minutes.
Jason Nawara (Middle Easy): No one in the world is giving Liz Carmouche a chance, which is partially why we have two predictions when we're used to having only one, but I think Carmouche has a better chance than the majority of Ronda's opponents of late. That doesn't mean I'm going to pick her to win the women's bantamweight title or anything, but I do think she will make it out of the first round, and she's technically the first women to ever step foot in the Octagon, so I consider those wins for her...Ronda Rousey wins via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Adam Martin (Sportsnet): Not much to say about this fight. It's a mismatch and it's going to end quickly and painfully for Liz Carmouche, who will tap out to a first-round armbar by Ronda Rousey. I respect Carmouche for stepping up and fighting Rousey when no one else wanted to, but this is just a bad matchup for her. I don't know if I've ever been more confident in picking a fight before in my life.
Jeremy Brand (MMA Sucka): Many people are counting Liz Carmouche out, but this is MMA folks. If she is able to get inside and land some of her big punches this fight could be a long one for Rousey. However, we haven't seen much of Rousey's stand-up, instead we have seen her infamous arm-bars. I believe this fight will make it past the first round, but Rousey will end up getting the big W somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Karim Zidan (The Flying Knee TO): When considering the possibilities in the UFC 157 main event, it is difficult not to picture Ronda Rousey dismantling yet another victim. Her near-flawless technique, experience and persistence have earned her first-round armbar wins in all of her amateur and professional bouts. Whilst Carmouche is by no means a stepping stone for the champ, I fail to see how she differs from any of Rousey's prior opponents. One should never rule out the possibility of an upset but with all things considered, it is highly unlikely. Rousey via 1st-Round Submission.
Ian Bain (MMA Opinion): I think Liz Carmouche is a half decent fighter, however she is fighting a female who in my opinion will become one of MMA's biggest stars. Carmouche would need to keep this fight standing to win and her striking isn't brilliant. Rousey meanwhile has shown no reason to doubt another first round armbar. At least Liz can say she fought in the first ever UFC female fight. My picks is Rousey armbar inside 2 minutes.
Media picking Ronda Rousey: Ten
Media picking Liz Carmouche: Zero
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire card on fight night (Sat., Feb. 23, 2013), starting with the Facebook and FX Prelims, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, as well as the main card, which is slated to air at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.
For more news and notes on the upcoming UFC 157 event click here.