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What's next for Ronda Rousey?

Mixed martial arts: Aftermath of historic fight leaves questions, but emphatic answer that Rousey, Carmouche delivered.

February 27, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Glendale Fighting Club trained Ronda Rousey, center, meets some of her fans after beating ex-Marine Liz Carmouche in the first round of the UFC 157.
Glendale Fighting Club trained Ronda Rousey, center,… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

In the afterglow of the historic and riveting UFC 157 main event Saturday night in Anaheim, Ronda Rousey’s grim prefight demeanor had drastically turned into a winning smile.

With Rousey, who trains at the Glendale Fighting Club, and opponent Liz Carmouche entering the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s octagon for the first-ever women’s fight, Rousey emerged just the same as she always has in her mixed-martial-arts career — with her hands raised in victory.

“I don’t know how many adjectives I have right now,” said Rousey of her emotions at the postfight press conference Saturday not long after she defended her UFC women’s bantamweight title. “It’s kind of odd. I’m very, very happy right now, it’s starting to feel normal a little bit.”

The win came with just 11 seconds remaining in the first round, but in the end, it concluded just as all of Rousey’s previous bouts, as she moved to 7-0 with a first-round submission via armbar.

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“She had great technique and she kept alternating how she was trying to pull the armbar and ultimately she got it,” said Carmouche (8-3), who gave Rousey her stiffest test yet, taking her back at one point and applying a face crank. “She came out exactly how I expected.”

The bout was billed as “history in the making,” and indeed it was, as the first women’s bout in company history also drew media exposure for the UFC the likes of which hadn’t been seen prior to the event. Time Magazine, HBO, ESPN and on and on had stories on the fight or Rousey, which far outweighed naysayers prior to the bout who disputed that a women’s fight should headline the pay-per-view card.

“It’s 2013 and I never expected such goofy backlash from people about two women headlining a main event,” White said. “What was awesome was, for once I can actually praise the media. The way that the media handled this fight, mainstream, was awesome, I think this fight got the respect it deserved — and then some.

“And then those two women delivered tonight.”

Of course, as in the aftermath of any UFC fight, one of the biggest questions that looms is, “What’s next?”

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