UFC 157 Takeaways: 6 Thoughts From Rousey vs. Carmouche Card
1. The undercard produced a ton of great action, but the Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice fight took it to another level. The incredible back and forth battle saw Grice lose a very close split decision (for what it's worth, we had it scored 29-28 for Grice). Look for this fight to be in the discussion for Fight of the Year when those talks begin in December. After such and gritty battle, it would be a shame to see Grice fall victim to the mass releases that the UFC will be carrying out in 2013. Here's to hoping he gets another scrap inside the UFC Octagon.
2. Speaking of the massive fighter cuts, we might have seen our first byproduct of that constant threat of getting the axe. Brendan Schaub caught a lot of heat on Saturday night for a fight strategy that produced less than it's fair share of exciting moments. He took Lavar Johnson to the canvass repeatedly, content to sit in Johnson's guard, inflicting nearly no damage. While the fight might not have set the world on fire, to question the strategy is a little short sided. Win at all costs, and you keep your job. Lose, even in an exciting fashion, and you might find yourself giving WSOF or Bellator a ring. With the threat of being canned constantly in the back of a fighter's mind, I suspect we'll see several more fights play out like Schaub vs. Johnson - especially if a fighter is coming off of a loss.
3. Not to beat a dead horse about these cuts, but I'm sure Josh Koscheck has to wondering about his future right about now. Koscheck has now lost two in a row and three of his last five fights. He's a pretty expensive fighter that would probably land on the prelim portion of the card should the UFC decide to keep him. Knowing they've got to trim the roster by 100 guys and looking to save some money along the way, Koscheck may find himself in the same boat as his buddy Jon Fitch.
4. Can we please end all the "Urijah Faber might need to think about retiring" talk? The guy is still one of the top talents at 135 or 145lbs and easily one of the top 20 most popular fighters in America. He's a star. There are few fighters that take care of their body as well as Faber, and few that understand the entire business of mixed martial arts better than The California Kid. Will he get another title shot? Maybe. But take a look down his long and illustrious career and find me one of those fights he didn't deserve. Urijah will be a UFC lifer.
5. This spot was supposed to be dedicated to talking about the Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida fight. However, if you watched the co-main event on Saturday, you well know there's nothing to talk about. Machida reverted back to his previous fight style (again, don't blame him) that won his 16 fights in a row, but didn't win him any fans along the way. His illusive style frustrated Dan Henderson all night and when he's moving like that, he's probably the single worst stylistic matchup there is in the UFC for Hendo. The winner of this fight was in the discussion for the next title shot against the winner of Jones/Sonnen. I'll say that decision won't be made until they see how Alexander Gustafsson looks in April.
6. 7 fights. 7 first-round finishes. 7 armbars. Ronda Rousey lived up to the hype on Saturday night at a packed Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. It was the perfect fight for the UFC in their women's division debut. Rousey prevailed, via signature move, but faced some adversity along the way. Liz Carmouche was more than game and brightened her star a fair amount in defeat. But man, Rousey. Until the powers that be are able to work out a fight with Cyborg Santos, it's Rousey's belt. Rousey's divsion. While a rematch with Meisha Tate is somewhat intriguing, the Cyborg fight is the moneymaker. I say it happens by this time next year.
Bonus Info ($50,000 each):
Fight of the Night: Dennis Bermudez vs Matt Grice
Knockout of the Night: Robbie Lawler
Submission of the Night: Kenny Robertson