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Via USA Today
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ronda Rousey got her seventh consecutive first-round armbar victory — but only barely.
The Olympic bronze-medal judoka faced adversity in the UFC's first-ever women's fight, but against former Marine Liz Carmouche, she successfully defended her bantamweight title with her patented submission.
The pay-per-view headliner, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, ended in the final seconds of the opening round.
Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), a heavy favorite, has breezed through the competition since her pro MMA debut in 2011, and before her first UFC fight, only one opponent had lasted longer than a minute. Carmouche (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), though, quickly put Rousey on the defensive after taking her back during a scramble and torquing a face and neck crank.
Rousey, whose head turned red and legs began to wobble, survived the sustained attack and ultimately shook Carmouche off her back. Once on the mat, she avoided a leg lock and then put Carmouche in a side headlock to deliver a quick swarm of punches. Rousey smoothly moved to the mount position and secured an arm, and the end was inevitable. Carmouche fought off the armbar attempt for the better part of a minute, but the powerful Rousey ultimately straightened out the limb and forced the tap-out.
"Is this real life right now? I'm not sure," Rousey said after the fight. "One thing I had to learn in MMA is be patient and take my time."
Carmouche, meanwhile, lamented her lost opportunity.
"I thought I had it," she said. "Like everything, you make a mistake, and it turns around. I thought I was going to get her with the neck crank."
The historic title fight brought a boost of media attention to the UFC, whose boss, Dana White, once infamously said women would "never" fight for his organization.
Rousey certainly isn't the first accomplished female in the sport. The likes of Gina Carano, Megumi Fujii, Tara LaRosa and Sarah Kaufman all had successful careers before Rousey came along, but none got the UFC – MMA's most prominent promotion – to take much notice.
However, the UFC president began to waiver as Rousey, who was the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo, dominated the MMA competition in Strikeforce. The sister organization, which UFC officials shut down this past month, prominently featured Rousey, who won Strikeforce's women's bantamweight title a year ago and quickly emerged as one of its biggest TV draws.
With her success, which included the six consecutive wins via armbar, White ultimately added Rousey's division to the UFC. In December, he introduced her as the organization's first-ever female champion (even before she won a fight in the organization) and announced plans for her to headline a major pay-per-view event.
Check out the full UFC 157 results below.
Ronda Rousey def. Liz Carmouche via submission (armbar)
Lyoto Machida def. Dan Henderson via split decision
Urijah Faber def. Ivan Menjivar via submission (rear-naked choke)
Court McGee def. Josh Neer via unanimous decision
Robbie Lawler def. Josh Koscheck via first-round TKO
Brendan Schaub def. Lavar Johnson via unanimous decision
Michael Chiesa def. Anton Kuivanen via submission (rear-naked choke)
Dennis Bermudez def. Matt Grice via split decision
Sam Stout def. Caros Fodor via split decision
Kenny Robertson def. Brock Jardine via submission (knee bar)
Neil Magny def. Jon Manley via unanimous decision
Nah-Shon Burrell def. Yuri Villefort via unanimous decision
UFC 157 recap
Ronda Rousey: UFC 157 Post-Fight Press Conference
Liz Carmouche: UFC 157 Post-Fight Press Conference
Urijah Faber: UFC 157 Post-Fight Press Conference
Dana White: "If Gina Carano Wants To Come Back, I Wouldn't Say No"