The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held a pay-per-view (PPV) event headlined by a female fight for the first time in history as UFC 157: "Rousey vs. Carmouche" went down last night (Feb. 23, 2013) in "The Golden State."
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey successfully defended her title for the first time in the main event with a first-round armbar victory over Liz Carmouche in a dramatic, back-and-forth fight.
In a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can only have one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows.
Every competitor who steps foot in the cage is looking for that moment of glory. Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars on the UFC 157 fight card as well as an equal amount of disappointments. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser from the event in Anaheim.
The Biggest Winner
It may be an obvious pick, but Ronda Rousey was by far the biggest winner of the night with her successful first-round armbar submission and bantamweight title defense against Liz Carmouche in the man event of UFC 157.
What made Rousey's performance so impressive was the fact she came back from a controversial moment where Carmouche had her back and came close to a rear-naked choke, but the challenger was unable to finish. "Rowdy" displayed tremendous heart by overcoming adversity and battling her way back to secure her signature submission.
Rousey's victory at UFC 157 is a milestone in so many ways. The first victory in a women's UFC fight, her first title defense, a seven-fight first-round finish streak, a seven first-round armbar streak and the list goes on and on. The 26-year-old is only going to get better going forward and her ability to overcome the pressure of the historic moment shows how strong her character is.
If Rousey wasn't a terror going into UFC 157, the fact she told Joe Rogan in her post-fight interview that, "There's no amount of press that can save these girls from me" sends a strong message to anyone looking to take her belt.
Rousey's performance proved she is the real deal and needless to say, female MMA is going to be in the UFC for some time to come.
Urijah Faber disposed of Ivan Menjivar in quick and decisive fashion with a first-round submission of "The Pride of El Salvador" in one of the featured bouts of the UFC 157 main card.
Coming off a disappointing loss to Renan Barao at UFC 149 and the pressure of UFC President Dana White saying he could be on the chopping loss with a loss, "The California Kid" delivered a performance that showed he has a lot left to give in his career.
Faber kept a nice career streak in tact, as he has successfully came back from every loss in his career with a submission victory. To top it off, he became just the second man to ever submit Menjivar and the first since 2002.
The Team Alpha-Male product made a statement with the win, and if UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is unable to return from injury to face interim champ Renan Barao within an acceptable timeframe, it's possible you could see Faber slide in to another championship bout.
Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice deserve a tip of the cap for their epic three-round fight on the "Prelims" portion of the undercard on FX. The two featherweights left everything they had inside the Octagon over the course of the 15-minute rope-a-dope affair that will be in the running for ‘Fight of the Year' until Jan. 1, 2014. Both men were awarded a $50,000 bonus for ‘Fight of the Night,' and deservedly so, as they put on a show people will be talking about for the foreseeable future.
The Biggest Loser
While the fight was close and controversial; Dan Henderson is UFC 157's biggest loser for coming up short against Lyoto Machida in the co-main event via split decision in a light heavyweight title eliminator.
Henderson put in a valiant effort over the course of the three-round bout, doing his best to slow "The Dragon" down with leg kicks and land his overhand right. However, the elusiveness of his opponent was too much to handle, as Henderson couldn't connect with anything solid, which allowed Machida to outpoint him en route to the victory.
The fight wasn't the worst performance of Henderson's career by any means, but it was far from the best. With so much on the line, one would think "Hendo" would go for broke in such a close fight Machida, but he could never get off or score anything significant.
At 42 years of age, it's hard to tell where Henderson goes from here. With an increasingly crowded pecking order forming at the top of the 205-pound weight class, it will take the former Olympian at least a few solid wins to reach the No. 1 contender status he had less than one year ago.
By no means is Henderson expected to retire after the devastating loss, but he has a tough road ahead of him if he ever wants to be the first man to complete the Pride/Strikeforce/UFC championship trifecta.
Josh Koscheck was upset in a big way in the opening fight of the pay-per-view broadcast when he was stopped with strikes by Robbie Lawler in the first round, a defeat which marked the first two-fight skid of his career. Koscheck was a huge favorite coming into the fight, and while he dominated in the early going, he couldn't avoid the massive power of his opponent and suffered just the second stoppage loss due to strikes in his career.
At the age of 35, it's unknown where The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one veteran goes from here. He has stepped foot inside the Octagon 22 times over the course of his career, and having won some big fights and competed for the welterweight belt, no one would blame Koscheck if he walked away from the sport now.
The competitive spirit of "Kos" paired with what he believed to be an early stoppage by referee Herb Dean mean we will likely see him compete a few more times. However, after possibly the most disappointing defeat of his career, there doesn't seem to be much left in the tank for the blonde-haired bad boy.
Liz Carmouche lost to Ronda Rousey by armbar in the UFC 157 main event, a result that was expected by most going in to the contest. What wasn't expected, though, was that Carmouche would come moments away from submitting Rousey with a standing rear-naked choke of all things.
"Girl-Rilla" was moments away from one of the most significant upsets in UFC history, but could not manage to get the job done. While her performance exceeded the expectation of many, the former Marine's inability to come through in what would have been a shocking moment gets her an honorable mention as UFC 157's biggest loser.
Who were your biggest winner and loser from UFC 157? Let us know in the comments in the comment section below.