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Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche set to make history

In days leading up to UFC 157, MMA combatants are ready to go.

February 20, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Ronda Rousey, 26, is the world's first female UFC Champion.
Ronda Rousey, 26, is the world's first female UFC… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

Exactly a week ahead of taking center stage under the brightest lights that have ever shined down upon women's mixed martial arts, Ronda Rousey sat upon the ring apron at the Glendale Fighting Club.

Spent from her latest workout with coach Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey answered questions that she had been asked too many times before, all centering around one impending Saturday night that could very well change the landscape of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the world of mixed martial arts.

With the questions having grown stale and the real training all but done, the fight that seemingly everyone can’t stop talking about had transfixed into the fight that Rousey can’t stop thinking about.

“I’m just getting mostly impatient and focused — impatient and intense,” Rousey said on Saturday. “I think about it all the time.”

These are the final days before Rousey, a beautiful savage that has created a media storm the likes of which the MMA world has never seen, defends her UFC women’s bantamweight championship against Liz Carmouche in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche pay-per-view at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

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It will be a night overflowing with firsts.

Rousey, the uncrowned first lady of MMA, stands at 6-0 in her brief but astounding professional career, all of her one-sided fights ending in the first-round via armbar. Subsequently, she was the first female fighter to sign a UFC contract and was then crowned the first-ever UFC women’s bantamweight champion after she was the last to hold the Strikeforce bantamweight title and the latter was absorbed by the UFC.

And on Saturday, likely some time after 9 p.m., Rousey and Carmouche, the first openly gay UFC fighter, will enter the caged confinement that is the UFC octagon for the first women’s fight in the organization’s two-decade history.

Plenty of hoopla, plenty of story lines and plenty of firsts, but for Rousey and her GFC camp, it’s still plenty simple.

“It’s a fight,” Tarverdyan said. “It doesn’t really make a difference for Ronda.”

All Rousey has done in the arena of MMA is win her fights, first going 3-0 in the amateur ranks before making her pro debut in March of 2011. It was a debut she would win in just 25 seconds and the roller-coaster rise of Rousey had begun.

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