UFC 157 Predictions: Picks for Rousey vs. Carmouche and More Top Bouts

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Torrance, CA, USA;  Ronda Rousey during today's public workout at the UFC gym in Torrance, CA. Rousey has a bout with Liz Carmouche on Feb 23 in Anaheim, CA.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The first women's fight in UFC history, featuring Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche battling for the women's bantamweight championship, headlines an intriguing UFC 157 card. There are multiple fights capable of stealing the spotlight from Rousey and Carmouche.

Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson is the top undercard fight. It pits two accomplished veterans against each other for the first time. Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar will also face off as they look to climb up the bantamweight division.

Let's take a closer look at each of those three fights and predict which fighters will earn victories on Saturday night. It's a historic card for the UFC, so a memorable set of bouts is crucial.


Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche

Rousey arrives to the UFC after dominating the competition in other promotions. In six career fights, she's undefeated and none of her opponents have survived the first round without submitting. Five of them gave up within the first minute.

Her ability to control the fight from the opening bell is what's made her unstoppable so far. Nobody has been able to turn the tide and force her to defend for an extended period of time, and without that it's only a matter of time before she locks in the armbar.

Carmouche, who's 8-2 in her career, does have solid striking ability and could give the champion some problems if she can figure out how to dictate the pace of the bout. But nobody has been able to do that against Rousey so far. Expect her to pick up another convincing win.

Prediction: Rousey


Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson

After winning the first 16 fights of his career, Machida has dropped three of his last five. He is coming off a victory over Ryan Bader, though. It was a bout that featured more of the effective striking he showcased early in the past.

As for Henderson, he returns to the Octagon for the first time since late 2011 when he scored a hard-fought win against Mauricio Rua. At 42, he still possess terrific power and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.

It's hard to predict how Henderson will perform after such a long lay off, but he enters the fight with very little margin for error. Machida should be able to gain control early and will be able to maintain that edge to pick up his second straight triumph.

Prediction: Machida


Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar

Given the fact Rousey and Carmouche are generating so much hype, it probably shouldn't be a surprise that this fight is getting overlooked. But don't be shocked if Faber and Menjivar end up putting on a terrific show of their own.

While Faber has hit the skids a bit lately with two losses in his last three bouts, he should benefit from fighting Menjivar, who doesn't possesses overwhelming power. That should allow the American to control the fight and utilize his submission ability.

Menjivar won't mind fighting that type of match. His last two victories were both named submission of the night. So there should be a lot of back-and-forth action with both guys trying to gain the ground advantage. In that scenario, the slight edge goes to Faber.

Prediction: Faber