UFC women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey joined challenger Liz “Girl-rilla” Carmouche and UFC 157 co-headliners Dan Henderson and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in speaking to the media about UFC 157, which emanates live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. next Saturday night.

Unsurprisingly, plenty of the hype and burning questions surrounded Rousey, but while many argue for Henderson vs. Machida as the headliner of the bout, Henderson does not mind fighting three rounds, if need be, against a tough opponent like Machida. As a matter of fact, he hears people talking about Rousey vs. Carmouche, and it reminds him of why he remains in the sport.

“I think it’s great,” Henderson said, “I’ve got no problem. Fighting only three rounds is kind of nice. I’m definitely a fan and I’ll be watching when my fight’s over.”

Machida, who comes off of a UFC on Fox 4 win over Ryan Bader, welcomes the bout for a number of reasons. One reason especially stands out in this dream fight, but the fight with Henderson shows potential to carry a glint of gold down the line, and Machida feels the winner of this tilt should get a shot at that gold.

“If we’re No. 1 and No. 2, the title shot should definitely be on the line with this fight,” Machida said.

As for Carmouche, she flies under the radar and looks to shock the MMA world next weekend with a defense to Rousey’s armbars and a win over the current champion. However, she remains motivated for the fight for more than just those who feel she cannot compete with Rousey on her best day. She also finds motivation in the plan that the UFC set in motion when news broke of a TUF 17 bout with former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate vs. undefeated Cat Zingano, as well as the signings of Alexis Davis and Sara McMann.

“I think there’s evidence that they’re trying to build up the women’s bantamweight division,” Carmouche said,  “I don’t think they would make a title fight between myself and Ronda without something to fall back on.”

Rousey, agreeing with her opponent’s opinion, will look to answer questions of her own. Everyone knows of the six armbar victories in six pro fights, but with all six wins coming in the first round, questions arise as to whether Rousey will shut down after the first five minutes of action. Rousey wants to make it clear, through her performance in this title defense, that she will transcend that challenge.

“I’m always able to go five rounds,” Rousey said, “That’s what I prepare for. I don’t walk in hoping it would be a one-round fight. Every time I come up for a new fight, I have a lot more striking experience under my belt. I take the striking part of my game really seriously.”

For those still unconvinced, she encourages everyone to watch UFC 157 next weekend and see just how much her striking game continues to improve with each fight as the women take center stage and make some history of their own.

[divide]Photo: UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)