Ronda Rousey is the first UFC women’s champion and she will defend her title against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif., UFC president Dana White announced on Thursday.
The fight will be the main event for the card, which is scheduled for Feb. 23 at the Honda Center.
“I have a lot of respect for Liz,” Rousey said at the UFC on FOX press conference about her pending opponent. “She was the only one who stepped up and said she wanted this fight right now.
“When the other girls come … to the big show, they know where I’m at.”
Rousey, the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, has been one of the more popular fighters in 2012 for her streak of armbar finishes and outgoing personality in the press. Her place as the first female fighter in the UFC stands as a landmark for both the company and women’s sports, alike.
Carmouche, a veteran of both the Strikeforce and Invicta FC MMA promotions, has won two consecutive fights. Most recently, she finished Kaitlin Young by rear-naked choke in the second round at Invicta FC 2 in July.
Recent speculation showed Rousey would make her UFC debut against another former Strikeforce champ, Cris “Cyborg” Santos. However, roadblocks like doctors saying Cyborg couldn’t make 135 pounds got in the way of making the fight happen.
When asked if she’s disappointed that the Cyborg fight isn’t her first UFC bout, Rousey said she’s anticipating it.
“It’s going to happen, eventually,” she said.
White added that if Rousey gets by Carmouche, he’s confident the Rousey-Cyborg bout will be next for the women’s champion.
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