Let's take a short ride backwards in the MMA time machine. Wake me up when we get to March 5th of 2011.
Ok, great. Liz Carmouche has stepped in for Strikeforce Bantamweight Tournament Winner Miesha Tate on short notice to take on current champion Marloes Coenen. It was announced that Tate had injured her knee in training on February 23rd. Coenen is a sizeable favorite over the undefeated U.S. Marine. They'll do battle in Columbus, Ohio right before Dan Henderson takes on "Feijao" Cavalcante for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship of the world.
Carmouche looks impressive in the 1st Round of her co-main event title bout with the Dutch submission specialist. While you could make an argument for either competitor to take it 10-9, Carmouche holds her own against the champion. Coenen seems to steal it though with a push kick before the horn sounds.
Rounds 2 and 3 are a different story. Carmouche nearly finishes Coenen on more than one occasion, punishing her opponent all over the mat. Coenen's multiple submission attempts are thwarted, and Carmouche is mounting the champion, passing her guard and unleashing hell upon her face. She outstrikes Coenen 202-20 to be exact in these two rounds alone. We could very well be looking at a new Strikeforce Women's Champion tonight.
Early on in the 4th Round Marloes Coenen shows us why she's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today. Like Anderson Silva the summer before, she shows great perseverance, choking out Carmouche from her guard via the triangle thus retaining her title.
When given the opportunity to step in for Tate on short notice Liz Carmouche gave us an incredible show, nearly ripping the title from Marloes Coenen. I've seen referee's stop fights for less, had this one been stopped or had Liz hung on to take a UD victory, the tables could be turned. We could very well be talking about Carmouche defending the title against Rousey today.
22 days later, Ronda Rousey would make her pro mma debut, submitting Ediane "India" Gomes in just 25 seconds at KOTC 9: Turning Point via a quick armbar stoppage. I'm sure the referee presiding over the event, Big John McCarthy, knew to watch for this girl's vicious armbar due to her quick amateur finishes. I don't think John, or any of us knew that Ronda Rousey would be a household name and UFC pay-per-view headliner just under two years and five more armbar finishes later. Keep it locked here at hov-mma as we continue to give you more in depth coverage of this historic bout.
photo credit - Liz Carmouche