By Adam Martin
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few
months, you already know that former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion
Ronda Rousey has been signed to the UFC. And now, she has her first opponent.
It was announced by UFC president Dana White yesterday at
the UFC on FOX 5 pre-fight press conference that Rousey – who has been crowned
the first-ever UFC women’s bantamweight champion – is set to fight Liz Carmouche in the headliner of the UFC 157 pay-per-view, which takes place Feb.
23 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
But in my opinion, pay-per-view is the wrong choice for
Yes, Rousey is an excellent fighter, but she has been
fighting in Strikeforce for the last year, and the casual UFC fans don’t really
know her yet. To ask that same casual fan to plunk down for $55 for a PPV
headlined by two women who many have never heard of is, to me, asking way too
Instead, the UFC should have booked Rousey as the main event
for the April FOX card. That would have given both her and women’s MMA the
exposure they need to make a mark in the mainstream market, because it would
have been a free trial of sorts. Instead, the UFC is being greedy and asking
fans to pay a hefty sum of money for a fight that’s likely to last a minute.
That’s no hyperbole, as Rousey has run through all of her
opponents in MMA thus far, and stylistically, this a bad matchup for Carmouche,
who, like Rousey, does her best work on the ground. Yes, it will be nice if
Rousey sinks in that famous armbar of hers, but no one wants to pay for a PPV
that is headlined by an uncompetitive fight. And if you don’t believe me, just
look at the odds, where Rousey opened up as a -1500 favourite and Carmouche
entered as a +700 underdog. That means Rousey is even more of a favourite to
beat Carmouche than Anderson Silva was to defeat Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153.
Carmouche is tough, but this fight is a mismatch.
Furthermore, now that Rousey vs. Carmouche is the main event
of UFC 157, the co-main event between light heavyweights Dan Henderson and
Lyoto Machida will only be three rounds, even though that’s the ideal
five-round, non-title fight. It’s smart that the UFC is going to put Henderson
and Machida – as well as Urijah Faber, who takes on Ivan Menjivar – on the
undercard to help prop up PPV sales, but there’s no reason why Henderson vs.
Machida should take a backseat to Rousey, who hasn’t even fought in the UFC
I believe this is a situation where the UFC is being greedy.
They should have given the fans a chance to watch women’s MMA for free -- as
there’s no doubt many will be watching it for the first time -- instead of
making them pay for it.
Although the UFC hype machine will be high for this one,
don’t expect this PPV to have a buyrate of more than 300,000. But will that be
good enough for the UFC?
December 7, 2012