Last month, Ronda Rousey made MMA history by becoming the first female fighter to join the UFC. Now her opponent, Liz Carmouche, will also make history for being the first openly gay fighter to step into the Octagon.
The two will square off at UFC 157 in Anaheim, California, on February 23, 2013. They are the first female fighters to headline a UFC Pay-Per-View event and will be fighting in the newly-created 135-pound women’s bantamweight division.
UFC president Dana White has been singing Rousey’s praises for months, but he also recently applauded Carmouche, calling her “brave” for admitting to being gay. This may come as a surprise to UFC fans, as White was labeled a homophobe after he dropped a gay slur in his video blog a couple of years ago in reference to an article about the use of credentials at UFC events.
White quickly apologized and regretted that people thought he was homophobic. He has since encouraged any openly gay fighters in the UFC to come out. And Carmouche has done exactly that.
White said about Carmouche’s decision, “I love what she did … I applaud that she came out and that she’s the first one. Good for her. I hope more do.”
While most eyes will be on Rousey, as they have been for months, during UFC 157, Carmouche shouldn’t be forgotten. She ranks in the top 10 135-pound female MMA fighters in the world with a record of 8-2. Rousey, at 6-0, takes the top spot, followed by Sarah Kaufman (15-2), Alexis Davis (12-5), Miesha Tate (13-3), and Sara McMann (6-0).
Despite their respective first statuses, at the end of the day, the most important thing for Rousey and Carmouche is that they put on a good fight when they enter the Octagon.