On Saturday, Feb. 23, the UFC hosted the first women’s fight in the promotion’s history as bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey took on Liz Carmouche.

Although Rousey walked away with yet another first-round armbar victory, the has much bigger meaning for the sport, the women and the promotion.

The MMA Corner’s Aline Baktchejian Djehdian reflects on the event below.

Below are versions in both English and Portuguese. Click the tab to switch the language.

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UFC 157 marked a milestone in mixed martial arts. From Saturday night and moving forward, the sport will forever be changed. Before the event, it was a sport where men had always enjoyed center stage, even with female audience. After UFC 157, however, the sky’s the limit, women are now represented and have found their place in the Octagon.

Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche worthily represented women and made each viewer feel part of the event, as if they were inside the Octagon with them. It was a feeling of pride.

Who could have imagined the outcome to the story of Rousey, who lost her father to suicide and suffered from bullying as a child?

A determined woman whose mother was an accomplished jiu-jitsu practitioner, Rousey overcame her sad past and turned it into a strength, physically and psychologically. Rousey’s resolve knows no borders. Rousey wished to prove to her mother that she was capable of competing, but she proved it not only to her mother but to the entire world. From Olympic medalist to amateur mixed martial artist to professional fighter and on to the UFC, Rousey has accomplished it all.

Carmouche, who has fought under the Invicta FC banner, brought with her a history of service in the U.S. Marines. She led the way into the Octagon not only one for female fighters, but also as the UFC’s first openly gay competitor.

UFC 157 will be remembered as a dance of grace among the best in the world and a time when women overcame all obstacles and entered the Octagon, breaking any personal and professional barriers.

It was a dynamic struggle, lasting only one round, with Carmouche threatening to bring an end to Rousey’s streak of success, but it wasn’t to be. Rousey’s defense was stunning, and with her seventh armbar submission, Rousey won. With the victory, Rousey proudly remains the UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

What does this victory represent to the mixed martial arts world?

Primarily, it represents a time when women have shown their value as strong, passionate warriors with just as much drive as their male counterparts.

However, the positive or negative elements of this fight are just details overshadowed by the magnitude of what Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche achieved just by stepping into the eight-sided cage.

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O UFC 157 representa um marco nas lutas marciais um antes e um depois.. antes desse evento, um esporte onde os homens sempre foram a grande maioria, mesmo contando com a audiência feminina. Depois do UFC 157, o céu é o limite, as mulheres se sentiram representadas, encontraram o seu espaço dentro das lutas.

Ronda e Liz representaram de maneira digna as mulheres, fizeram com que cada telespectadora se sentisse parte do evento, como se estivessem com elas dentro do octógono, sentiram orgulho.

Um pai que se matou quando criança, uma juventude difícil sofrendo bullying, uma mãe professora de jiu jitsu …O que poderíamos imaginar como desfecho dessa história?

Uma mulher decidida, que trouxe de seu triste passado sua força, física e psicológica, para Ronda não existe fronteiras. Rousey desejou, pediu a mãe um ano para prova- la que seria capaz de lutar e ela provou não só a sua mãe mas a si mesmo. Medalhista de Olimpíada, lutadora amadora, profissional e lutadora do UFC, nessa ordem.

Liz Carmouche trouxe a sua história de aprendizado no exército americano e levantou a bandeira pela sua preferência sexual. Lutadora que já lutou no Invicta Fight.

A história do UFC 157, uma dança de graça entre a melhor do mundo da categoria e a sua adversária que ao entrar no octógono quebrou suas próprias barreiras pessoais e profissionais.

Foi uma luta dinâmica, com apenas um round, Liz partiu pra cima, mas a defesa de Ronda a surpreendeu.

E com o seu sétimo arm-lock Ronda Rousey venceu. A campeã da categoria peso galo. O que essa vitória representa ao mundo das artes marciais?

Principalmente representa que as mulheres possuem condições de mostrarem o seu valor, são fortes, tem aquela paixão as lutas marciais, aquele brilho no olhar.

A repercussão positiva ou negativa sobre esse combate será apenas um detalhe perto da magnitude do que Ronda Rousey e Liz Carmouche representaram ao esporte.

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Photo: Ronda Rousey (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Aline Bak
Staff Writer, Brazil

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Aline began watching MMA with her father during the heyday of Pride in the early 2000's. Her passion for the sport soon turned to the UFC not long after. After attending UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro and UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Aline was asked to recount her experience for Tatame—one of Brazil's biggest media outlets—and thus began her writing career. In addition to her work for The MMA Corner, she maintains her own site about MMA.