UFC’s cameras follow Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche as they head into UFC 157. UFC Primetime is a documentary style approach to give fans a raw and real look inside their headline fighters. They don’t produce a prime time show for every title fight but when they do it’s very professional and carefully edited.
UFC 157 is a historic event that will feature women’s MMA for the first time inside the octagon. President of the UFC, Dana White told the fans and reporters they’d never see women fight in the UFC. That changed when a trash talking Ronda Rousey did more than talk, she delivered and finished fights. All of them. She has yet to allow an opponent to make it to a second round.
The first first of the UFC’s three part series aired last night and focused largely on Rousey. Those who follow the UFC and Rousey’s meteoric rise would expect nothing less. She has the looks, she provides the sound bites worthy of headlines and she can fight. Some would argue that she’s only getting the attention she is because of her looks but those are the same people who don’t know her story and her struggles from day birth.
In episode one, we learn Ronda was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. It caused her to struggle with her speech and it was nearly three years before she could talk. Ronda shared, “My sisters would translate my gibberish.” Near the end of the show, we see a side of Ronda that often goes unseen with the MMA bad ass. She breaks down into tears. It one of the few times you’ll see a vulnerable Rousey, she shares the story of how her father committed suicide after a sledding accident. Ronda was a young girl when the tragedy happened but you get a sense the memory lives with her every day.
Ronda was the first American woman to win an Olympia medal in Judo. “After the Olympics they pretty much gave me gave me 10 grand & a handshake,” said Rousey. Ronda worked as a waitress and bartender while trying to get her MMA career on track. Those days are long gone and you get the feeling she’s doing whatever it takes to never go back to those jobs.
Rousey’s opponent, Liz Carmouche gets about a third of the airtime in the first episode. UFC Primetime chose to highlight Liz’s sexual orientation right out of the gate. She served five years in the US Marine Corp but we learn little about that instead we hear about her being a lesbian. Carmouche openly talks about it and her relationship with her girlfriend. She doesn’t live a glamorous life but you don’t hear her complain about it.
Liz is the underdog in the fight. Unlike Rousey she has yet to reach super-star status. Liz opens the doors to her gym, the San Diego Combat academy, and helps close them at the end of the night. She answers phones, teaches classes and often runs the front desk. In one of the few moments we hear from Liz in episode one she says, “I was brought in to be the underdog ’cause they think that she’s going to win and I’m okay with that. I like having people think that. I absolutely think I’m gonna spoil the UFC plans.”
Watch as UFC Primetime cameras follow women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Liz Carmouche in the weeks leading up to their historic bout at UFC 157.
Wondering what the song was that played during Ronda’s drive to the gym? It’s ZZ Ward’s “Move Like U Stole it”. Listen to it on Spotify.