Ronda Rousey makes mixed martial arts history

News Amanda Khouv Feb 25, 2013

Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche make history in the first women's bout in the Ultimate Fighting Championship

There's no denying that women in sport are making a bigger impact than ever. Last week saw female auto racing driver Danica Patrick become the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500 in pole position. She is also the fastest person to qualify in this top spot – male or female – since 1990. As if that wasn't enough, Danica went on just days later to become the first woman to lead a lap. And she didn't just lead one, she made it two – just for good measure.

Then came the highly-anticipated MMA bout between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. UFC President Dana White had once famously stated that women would never appear in the prestigious organisation, which hosts competitive bouts between mixed martial artists in one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

He went on to eat his own words after signing Rousey, Carmouche and several other women to implement a new weight division at 135 lbs. Months later, Rousey and Carmouche found themselves not only fighting in, but headlining, an event at the famous Honda Center in Anaheim, California – to a sold out audience of eager and excited fight fans.

Rousey shot to fame in what seemed like lightning speed. But the Olympic judo bronze medalist had already made history by becoming the first American to medal in the Olympics, aged 21. Her debut as an Olympian came at the tender age of just 17 then, after her second stint in 2008, she took a year out and began to focus on the sport of MMA. And thank goodness for that, as it seems that Rousey has almost single-handedly changed the face of female MMA ever since.

Rousey's opponents have never managed to take her out of the first round in any of her six professional bouts prior to Saturday night, each of them suffering a loss by way of Rousey's signature armbar move. So, with so much hype surrounding Rousey and the ground-breaking show on Saturday night, the pressure was on and Rousey and Carmouche did not fail to deliver.

Everyone was expecting another round one armbar finish from Rousey, but would she be able to deliver against the tough, aggressive, ex-marine Carmouche? After difficult moments at the start of the fight, Rousey took the win in the final seconds of the round, bringing her pro record to 7-0 – all with a first round armbar. The exciting fight is sure to have converted any doubters, securing the place of women in the biggest MMA organisation in the world.

Expect to see a rise of women in the sport now, thanks to the likes of Rousey paving the way for the rest of us.

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