When Liz Carmouche walked into the cage for her UFC 157 headline fight against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, history was made. For you trivia buffs, Carmouche became the first female fighter to step foot inside the famed UFC Octagon.
The first female fight in the UFC wasn’t the only history UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche made.
“It’s going to end up being the biggest women’s pay-per-view of all time, the biggest women’s pay-per-view fight ever,” said UFC president Dana White following the event.
Prior to Rousey vs. Carmouche, the biggest women’s pay-per-view fight was Laila Ali vs. Jacqueline “Jacqui” Frazier-Lyde in 2001. The fight, between the daughters of boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, was historic in its own right. It was the first time a female fight headlined a boxing pay-per-view card. The fight reportedly sold over 100,000 pay-per-view buys, while initial estimates on Wrestling Observer Radio put Rousey vs. Carmouche estimates “over 400,000” pay-per-view buys.
“This is going to smoke that. Smoke it,” said White about Rousey vs. Carmouche. “It’s the most successful women’s fight of all time.
“This was the most successful fight ever in the history of women’s fighting. Christy Martin, Laila Ali, all the girls that have fought.”
Not only was Rousey vs. Carmouche the biggest women’s pay-per-view, it will likely also go down as the biggest purse ever paid to a female in combat sports. Gina Carano previously held that accolade.
“I don’t care what anybody made because I’ve looked at a lot of women’s numbers,” said White. “This is probably going to be the biggest purse for a woman, too.”