UFC 157: The Biggest Winners and Losers
By John Heinis on February 24, 2013
History was made Saturday evening at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California when UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defended her title for the first time against Liz Carmouche.
Additionally, a new light heavyweight title challenger was crowned while a familiar title challenger showed he’s still got it at bantamweight.
Take a look who the biggest winners and losers were from UFC 157.
Robbie Lawler - While this is a bold assessment, let’s look at the facts: Lawler hadn’t fought in the UFC since UFC 50 in Oct. 2004 and was a very poor 3-5 under the Strikeforce banner.
Him scoring a win over Josh Koscheck, a former welterweight title challenger currently ranked eighth in the UFC’s officials rankings, seemed virtually impossible.
Low and behold, the move to American Top Team paid massive dividends for the “Ruthless” one, scoring a shocking upset, whether or not the fight was stopped a little early.
Ronda Rousey – “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was able to perform in midst of one of the biggest media build-ups of all-time, surviving an early submission scare before locking up her signature armbar to end the fight.
Everyone knew Rousey had fantastic submission offense, but her win over Liz Carmouche showed that her submission defense is world class as well.
Urijah Faber – “The California Kid,” who entered Saturday night just 1-2 in his past three fights, had to be feeling the pressure when UFC President Dana White told the media Faber would be cut if he lost.
The Team Alpha Male veteran showed he is still a force to reckoned at bantamweight, transitioning from a standing crucifix to a rarely seen rear-naked choke to a highlight-reel worthy finish.
Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice – This was easily the best fight so far of 2013, with each fighter scoring countless knockdowns and locking up close submission attempts before the final bell rang.
These two featherweights showed tremendous heart and skill in a slugfest that is typically reserved for an XBOX game.
Josh Koscheck - Controversial or not, the TKO loss to Robbie Lawler means Koscheck has lost two in a row and hasn’t won a fight in over a year.
Given the UFC’s quickness to cut Jon Fitch, Koscheck’s long-time friend and training partner, there is a good chance he is heading in the same direction.
His title bout against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 124 in Dec. 2010 seems like forever ago and not like that fight was close anyway.
Dan Henderson – The fight was close, but there is little question that Lyoto Machida deserved the victory over Dan Henderson at the co-main event of UFC 157.
“Hendo” simply couldn’t land the power shots at the frequency he needed and by the time he was able to secure a takedown it was too little, too late.
At 42-years-old, it seems safe to say Henderson will never achieve his goal of wearing UFC gold following this loss.
Lyoto Machida – Sure, Machida won the fight in the record books and will likely get another crack at light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.
That doesn’t change the fact that his performance was lackluster at best and it certainly didn’t get anyone excited for Machida-Jones 2, so the best thing that could happen for “The Dragon” is a massive upset that let’s Chael Sonnen capture the belt in April.
Ivan Menjivar – “The Pride of El Salvador” showed once again that he can’t hang with MMA’s elite, getting decisively finished by Urijah Faber.
Menjivar has come up shot to the likes of Bart Palaszewski, Brad Pickett, Mike Easton and now Faber for a second time, so his place in the company is a gatekeeper at best.