MANILA, Philippines – Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is a massive favorite going into her first ever UFC match against challenger Liz Carmouche, but “Rowdy” insists she cannot underestimate the former United States Marine.
In an interview with ESPN, the undefeated Rousey said she expects Carmouche to be a tougher challenge than her previous opponents.
“She is a very dangerous fighter,” Rousey said of Carmouche, who holds an 8-2 win-loss record. “My last opponent, Sarah Kaufman, was also a former champion in Strikeforce.”
“And (Kaufman) was a very good striker, very disciplined. But she was very predictable and very easy to prepare for,” she added.
In contrast, Carmouche is far less predictable and has an unorthodox offensive arsenal.
“With Liz, there are fights where she comes out with flying knees, or fights when she comes in with spinning back fists, or fights when she comes in throwing a right kick followed by a right hook right away,” Rousey explained.
“She is very unorthodox and very unpredictable,” she added.
Rousey stressed that Carmouche “is just the type of person you don’t underestimate.”
“I don’t care what people are saying or what oddsmakers are saying. I still consider myself an underdog in every single fight,” she said.
Carmouche has said that she is unafraid of Rousey and is working hard to counter the champion’s trademark armbar submission maneuver.
“This isn’t going to be as easy for her as it was in the past... I honestly don’t think Rousey has what it takes to beat me. The only person that can defeat me is myself,” Carmouche said.
Rousey has won all of her six professional fights via arm bar submission, with all wins coming in the very first round.
Rousey will defend her bantamweight belt against Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 on February 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.