Thursday, February 21, 2013
Rousey rounds out arsenal ahead of 157
By Brett Okamoto
TORRANCE, Calif. -- By now, just about everyone knows Ronda Rousey has won each of her professional bouts in the first round, with the same move. Many expect her to make it seven armbars in a row against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 on Saturday.
As impressive as that streak is, does it perhaps hide the possibility the armbar is the only aspect of mixed martial arts Rousey is good at? Not likely.
Rousey (6-0) refused to directly answer whether she’s knocked out a sparring partner in the gym, but revealed that her reason for not answering was she didn’t want to boast. In other words, it’s happened.
The former Olympic judoka did say that during her first year with striking coach Edmond Tarverdyan, she didn’t throw punches. The entire time was spent on footwork.
“My first year of striking he didn’t show me how to throw hands at all,” Rousey said. “We did entirely footwork. I’m not neglecting my grappling, but I want to get very good at striking.”
Carmouche (8-2), for one, believes Rousey has more tricks than armbars up her sleeve. She does, however, think we’ll see the first doubt in Rousey’s eyes when the fight doesn’t end in the first round.
“I think as an MMA fighter, she has to have more than that,” Carmouche said. “I think that’s her strong play each and every time, but I know the champion she is, she has more in her toolbox.”
Machida has no problem with TRT, still eyes 185
Lyoto Machida has no issue that his opponent this weekend, Dan Henderson, is a longtime user of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
The issue of TRT has been a hot topic in the sport in recent years. It sparked up once again last weekend, when UFC president Dana White warned that the promotion would soon start vigorously testing any fighter receiving the treatment.
Machida (18-3) trusts the UFC’s judgment in the matter, and said he doesn’t mind fighting any opponent who receives a therapeutic-use exemption for TRT.
“No, no, no. It’s OK for me, no problem,” Machida said.
“Everybody has their own reason for doing testosterone. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor; I’m a fighter. If the UFC says it’s OK, then it’s good.”
Machida also confirmed that while he believes the winner of Saturday’s fight should receive the next title shot at 205 pounds, he’s still interested in a future drop to 185. His goal in dropping would be only to challenge himself and not fight for the belt, which is held by his teammate Anderson Silva.
“If I have a chance, I want to fight at 185 [pounds],” Machida said. “No title shot. The champion is my friend.”
Henderson not focused on title shot heading into co-main event
Dan Henderson says he was optimistic at first the UFC would still grant him a title shot after a knee injury forced him out of a title fight against Jon Jones in September.
We all know how that worked out.
As he prepares to meet Lyoto Machida at the UFC 157 co-main event, Henderson says he isn’t concerned with where he ranks in the division. The inaugural UFC rankings released this month placed him No. 2, behind only champion Jon Jones, but Henderson doesn’t believe that means much.
“Obviously, [the rankings] don’t mean anything,” Henderson said. “It’s never meant much to me, whether I’m on the top or bottom. It doesn’t change the way I fight.
“I don’t think [the UFC] is going to go off those [rankings] to match things up. I don’t think they ever will.”
Henderson (29-8) went on to say he doesn’t have to win a UFC belt to retire. Clearly, he expects to -- his goal is to not lose another fight before he retires -- but he doesn’t consider it a milestone must-have. He’s fought for UFC gold twice in his career, coming up short in fights with Quinton Jackson and Anderson Silva.
“I don’t feel like I have to do anything,” Henderson said. “Obviously, it’s one of my goals and I’d love to accomplish that and not lose again until I retire. I’m out there working hard hoping to accomplish my goal, but I don’t need it to retire.”
Faber admits circumstances at UFC 149 were difficult
Urijah Faber makes no excuses when it comes to his last performance, a unanimous-decision loss to Renan Barao in July for the UFC bantamweight interim title. Admittedly, though, unforeseen events stole a bit of air from his sails.
Faber (26-6) had been scheduled for a rivalry fight with Dominick Cruz at UFC 148, which turned out to be the promotion’s most successful event in 2012.
Instead, Cruz went down with an ACL injury and Faber was pulled from the card to headline UFC 149 in Calgary, one of the worst-performing cards of 2012.
“I did have the excitement drawn out of that fight for a bunch of reasons,” said Faber, who meets Ivan Menjivar on Saturday.
“Monetarily, I spent three months promoting one date against a certain opponent on a huge card, and it’s hard not to focus on that stuff when you’ve worked 10 years in the sport to get those big paydays.
“Also, the change of opponent. No one really knows who Barao is. Now so, more, but I think he had 3,000 followers on Twitter at that point. The biggest name on the undercard was Cheick Kongo. It took a lot of the steam out of the engine.”
Faber, 33, says he’s nowhere near the end of his career yet and, although UFC 149 was a letdown, he takes full responsibility for the loss to Barao.
“I always go out and fight 100 percent,” Faber said. “I could be in my backyard by myself or in front of millions of people. It doesn’t matter. I always have to throw out my best fight.”