The storylines are endless: “First Women’s Fight In the UFC”, “First Openly Gay Fighter In UFC History”, “Unknown vs Phenom”, and on and on. At UFC 157, the first ever UFC Women’s champion, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey will take on Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in her first ever title defense. The first episode of UFC Primetime for this fight is intense with Rousey going into detail about the passing of her father and Carmouche discussing growing up as a lesbian and how winning this fight would change her life. Both fighters come across as extremely hard workers, Rousey with 16 hour days at the gym, Carmouche working all day at her gym teaching classes and still finding time to train.
In this article, we will look at the stats behind the fight. A lopsided betting line means our analysis will focus on determining whether there is any value to be gained through betting on either of these competitors. The stat line of both fighters is below:
|Statistic||Ronda Rousey||Liz Carmouche|
|Odds||1.1 to 1(-1050)||9.4 to 1(+840)|
* SLPM = Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
** TD = Takedowns per 15 minute fight
*** Sub Avg = Submissions attempted per 15 minute fight
Fight statistics are recorded from Fight Metric who is the official fight stats provider of the UFC.
Firstly, in terms of height and reach, the fighters are pretty evenly matched. Rousey has a 2 inch advantage in reach, which could play into the fight in terms of Carmouche struggling to try and land strikes while Rousey remains out of range. In terms of the stats line, it is obvious this is what Carmouche has done in the past and is likely to try against Rousey. Rousey striking numbers are not as high. Be careful not to discount her striking though, she showed against Miesha Tate that if she is standing at times, she can throw some impressive punches. Carmouche has 5 of her 8 wins by KO and uses her mix of skills (Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Karate) extremely well in the cage.
The basic theme of this fight is “Can Carmouche avoid the takedown/submission by Rousey?” Carmouche has just 2 wins by submission, but has her blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so we can assume this is something she is working on and something that could have improved since her last rear-naked choke victory over the 7-5 Kaitlin Young. Likely though, if this fight goes to the ground, the power of Rousey will be too much for Carmouche and she will have a hard time avoiding a submission. Looking at the stat line for Rousey, she averages 11.69 takedowns per fight. She also averages 11.69 submission attempts per fight. If we look at her fights on Fight Metric, she only has 5 submission attempts in her last 5 fights, all of which ended by submission. What this tells us is that once Rousey gets the takedown, she attempts her arm bar and is almost always (80%) successful.
In our fight predictions model, Rousey is extremely heavily favoured. More favoured than any fighter we have ever entered data for. Unfortunately, she only pays off 1.1 to 1. In terms of our stylistic/subjective analysis, we don’t see any reason to believe this fight will be any different than Rousey’s previous 6. Her power and grappling ability will allow her to get Carmouche on the mat and allow her to lock in the Rousey bar (arm bar). Miesha Tate, a wrestler has been Rousey’s toughest challenge to date and it will take someone with a similar skill set to dethrone Rousey. At the odds offered though, there isn’t enough value in betting on Rousey to justify placing a bet. Save your money for better returns.
Prediction: Rousey by submission, first round arm bar
The latest UFC 157 odds are here: