UFC 157 Review & Podcast

WC The UFC made history this weekend when it hosted its first ever women's mixed martial arts match, its first ever women's championship defense, its first ever openly gay/lesbian fighter, and its first ever female headliner. Yes, all of that in a single event that has already shattered a few records. This was not the first ever WMMA bout to be sure, but with the prestige, power, and position of the UFC, holding a women's fight anoints the growing movement within the sport with legitimacy and belonging. It's Ladies Night. Mitchell Stucky and I cover all of the action in the prelims (including a FotY candidate with Bermudez v. Grice) in part 1 of the Getting Lucky MMA Podcast and the entire main card in part 2. Summary: The prelims saw the usual mix of exciting finishes and back-n-forth action throughout the Facebook and FX card with a few notable stinkers. I'm looking at you Jon Manley. Highlights in the earlier action saw Yuri Villefort (6-2) bested by an overweight Nah-Shon Burrell (9-2) in a gutsy performance as well as a never before seen "hamstring slicer?" executed by Kenny Robertson (12-2) on Brock Jardine (9-3). But ... the real gem on the entire card was the war between Dennis Bermudez (10-3) and Matt Grice (15-5). Bermudez was literally sent airborne with a left hook in round 1, but he rallied back in a tireless slug fest to dominate round 3 and ultimately earn a split decision. It was an amazing fight. In fact, it is clearly the best fight of 2013. That fight is on par with 2011's Shogun v. Henderson. Just remarkable and a must watch for any sports fan. Other action on the prelims included Brendan Schaub (9-3) hugging out a UD over Lavar Johnson (17-7), TUF winner Michael Chiesa (9-0) earning a 2nd round RNC over Anton Kuivanen (17-6), Neil Magny (8-1) outpointing a one-dimensional Jon Manley (7-2), and Sam Stout (19-8-1) eking by newcomer Caros Fodor (7-3) The main card started with a quick TKO as Robbie Lawler (20-9, 1) reversed and then surprised Josh Koscheck (17-7) with ground and pound. Court McGee (14-3) mimicked E. Honda from Streetfighter with a dizzying amount of strikes through three rounds en route to a UD over a game Josh Neer (33-13-1). Urijah Faber (27-6) once again revealed his class with a first round submission with a standing RNC over resurgent Ivan Menjivar (25-10). The co-main event was a supreme disappointment and entire predictable. Lyoto Machida (19-3) danced his way to victory over Dan Henderson (29-9) with in and out movement, footwork, and hesitant flurries. Hendo said it best in the post-fight presser: "He's really good at not fighting." The highlight of the night though truly belonged to the ladies. Ronda Rousey (7-0) faced her toughest challenge yet with a fearless Liz Carmouche (8-3). The fight nearly ended in similar fashion as Carmouche's look-alike, Urijah Faber, but Rousey powered through the standing neck crank and slung her opponent of her back. From there, Rousey immediately imposed her will on the ground with GNP ending with the signature move, an armbar. All in all, a great event and a great night for womankind.

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Robert Curtis is a columnist, podcaster, screenwriter, and MMA editor. He's an American abroad in Australia, living vicariously through his PlayStation 3. He's too old to be cool, but too young to be wise.