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Morning Report: Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche usher in new era of women’s MMA

By now the word historic has been bandied about so much over the past few days, I wouldn’t fault you if you were numb to it. So I’ll keep this brief. Everyone was saying Henderson-Machida should have been the main event, an exhausted UFC President Dana White said after a wild four minutes and 49 seconds saved his dying show. Nothing against those two, that would have stunk the place out. Imagine if that was the last fight of the night? People would have left here pissed. Therein lies the real victory, and perhaps the reason that a wide grin was locked onto Liz Carmouche’s face throughout Saturday’s post-fight press conference. Ronda Rousey and Carmouche, they fought — in every sense of the word — and at no point did it feel out of place. In fact, aside from the inherent novelty that comes with being the first, it almost felt natural, which is perhaps most impressive. Who knows where we go from here? Maybe this experiment carries the sport to a new boom in popularity, maybe it fizzles out. Either way, 10 years down the line it’ll be remembered — the night in Anaheim when two gutsy women proved they belonged among their male counterparts on MMA’s biggest stage. 6 MUST-READ STORIES Rousey collects another arm. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey survived an early scare to submit Liz Carmouche with — what else? — a first-round armbar in front of a sellout crowd at Anaheim’s Honda Center in the electric main event of UFC 157. (Video.) For more, check out reaction from the pros. White: Aldo refusing to fight Pettis. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who initially welcomed a bout against Anthony Pettis, has since had a change of heart, according to UFC President Dana White. [Aldo] is absolutely refusing to fight Pettis. Doesn’t think he deserves the shot, White said, adding later, That’s fight’s on. He’s going to fight Pettis or he’s not going to like how this is going to turn out. Machida promised title shot in victory. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida took a split decision over Dan Henderson on the judges’ scorecards to reclaim the title of No. 1 contender in the tepid co-main event of UFC 157. Fitch, WSOF in talks. World Series of Fighting and former UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch have informally agreed to terms and now await confirmation from Fitch’s camp, according to WSOF President Ray Sefo. Fitch could potentially make his debut sometime in June or July. Faber submits Menjivar. Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber took advantage of Ivan Menjivar’s willingness to play the ground game, ultimately choking out the veteran with a standing rear naked in the closing moments of round one. White, Diaz rift. Following a rocky week of public relations, UFC President Dana White told reporters that he and Nick Diaz’s camp have settled their differences in regards to Diaz’s missed interviews, which White claims cost the company $50,000. Nonetheless, White admitted the being close to pulling Diaz from the fight. It’s not funny, he said. We’re very cool and very lenient in a lot of ways. I mean, look at this company, you know? We’re lenient on a lot of things, we let a lot of things slide. But that’s just absolute bulls–t. MEDIA STEW It was easy to miss, but the UFC squeezed out one last Dana White video blog in the hours before UFC 157. If you missed it the first time around, feel free to check it out below. There’s a reason why people have low testosterone. My testosterone is fine and I’ve never abused steroids. That’s all I’ve got to say on the matter. – Michael Bisping, keeping it real. The only word to describe last week’s Bellator 90 main card: Violent. Six fights. Seven rounds. If you missed it, do yourself a favor and catch it below. (Click to watch.) Welcome back, Prebek. It’s been too long. Alan Belcher has a bet for Michael Bisping, and you better believe it involves awful tattoos. If you follow any sports within the ESPN sphere, you probably recognize this as the Around the Horn set. And as usual, Bill Plaschke is very, very wrong. Did you know Paul Daley fought over the weekend? While the fight itself wasn’t anything to write home about, the finish is worth checking out. (For the lazy, jump to 11:05.) 7 WINS, 7 ARMS Ronda, armbar Rnd. 1. We should all probably get used to hearing that. #UFC157 #ufc #mma ”” Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) February 24, 2013 whoever said that Hendo vs Machida was the real main event, I wonder if they’re glad that it wasn’t. Ronda n Liz WERE the real main event. ”” Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) February 24, 2013 @vitorbelfort @rondarousey your arm bar is great u got to teach me so when I fight #jonjones next time I will take that arm home ”” Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) February 24, 2013 Congrats to @rondarousey ! I need to learn those armbars!! Great technick ! ”” Demian Maia (@demianmaia) February 24, 2013 Phenomenal job by @ufcand @danawhitein promoting and putting @rondarousey @iamgirlrilla in front of the world. U j…

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