Overall, UFC 157 was a solid offering, topped off by the historic first women’s MMA match between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche, but there were several stand-out moments in some of the other matches. And some not so stand out moments! Let’s take a look. The main card featured two stand-out performances in matches that ended in the first round. Veteran slugger Robbie Lawler made Josh Koscheck work hard for a takedown and eventually punched the yellow haired Koscheck out when Lawlor got top position. What is clear is that Lawler, who has been away from the UFC for more than eight years and has been competing at 185 lbs, is dangerous at 170 lbs. Lawler looked physically strong and impressive in making Koscheck work, and he has Johny Hendricks-like KO power for the welterweight division. Lawler is a threat to any of the top echelon fighters in the welterweight division if he fights like he did against Koscheck. Lawler against a high skill guy like Martin Kampmann is an intriguing follow-up fight. The other stand-out was bantamweight star Urijah Faber, who finished underrated veteran Ivan Menjivar with a standing rear-naked choke in the opening round. There was some talk around retirement for ‘The California Kid’ should he lose this match to Menjivar but he survived and came through with flying colors. There is only one thing left to do with Faber, and that is stick him in with titleholders Renan Barao or Dominick Cruz (Barao has an interim title). He is reportedly still motivated by a UFC belt, and he deserves the chance. On the not so impressive side, Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson got ‘methodical’ in their bout. By methodical I mean boring! That is largely Machida’s fault, who counterpunches and counterfights even when his opponent is worn down and open to an attack. That was the case with Henderson, who put out a lot of energy early missing with his big hook, and was definitely vulnerable in round three. Instead Machida gave us some nice dance moves on his way to the decision. The match was to propel the winner into a potential title shot later this year with Jon Jones; however, the UFC would be smart to bypass Machida again and urge Daniel Cormier to drop in weight class. As for Machida, a Nyquil sponsorship is in order, as you can really catch up on your rest while he is in the Octagon. Also on the unimpressive side was Court McGee. McGee out worked Josh Neer, and he is a tough guy who can take a punch, but he is an unathletic plodder who throws arm punches (no hips whatsoever) and isn’t going to hurt you. I don’t care who he fights, please just do not put him on the main card anymore unless he shows a lot of improvement. Either that or have Lawler remove his ugly head for him ASAP. The undercard had several performances that were worth watching, including a great come from behind fight from Dennis Bermudez who got up off the canvas in round one to take out Matt Grice, a stand-out modified knee bar out of Kenny Robertson that ended Brock Jardine’s night, Michael Chiesa fighting from behind to earn a choke victory over Anton Kuivanen, and Nah-Shon Burrell winning a battle with Yuri Villefort. The undercard wasn’t without a snooze fest courtesy of Brendan Schaub. Schaub took down big Lavar Johnson and then he laid on top of him throughout, doing nothing to try to finish the fight. Schaub took a limited opponent and did nothing with him but frustrate him. Johnson wasn’t hurt at all and Schaub should go work security alongside Pat Barry at one of the Ferrtita’s casinos. Maybe because of their size they can intimidate and avoid fights there too. UFC 157 is in the books as a solid card with a historical twist, with potentially Machida and Faber earning title shots later this year. Hopefully the UFC ramps up it’s women’s division and we start seeing women compete much, much more frequently in the UFC. There should be a minimum of one women’s fight per show, even if they are on the undercard. Unless that happens, the history written on February 23, 2013 is limited.
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