SAN DIEGO — Liz Carmouche trains hard every day as she prepares for something really big.
“It’s super monumental,” Carmouche said. “This is history in the making. I get to be apart of that. I get to be one of the faces in history.”
On February 23, Carmouche will take on undefeated Ronda Rousey of Riverside in the main event of UFC 157 in Anaheim – the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight for women.
“This is like the moon landing,” said Carmouche’s coach Manolo Hernandez. “Not more than a year ago UFC President Dana White said there would never be women in UFC fighting and now here it is. We owe that to to Rousey, in part being the character that she is, but moreso that the fans want to see it, and I think this is going to be a great fight also.”
The San Diego resident got this fight for two reasons: 1) she holds a top-six ranking in the bantamweight class and 2) and most important, she has a loyal and loud fanbase called The Lizbos who put out a crazy social media campaign to UFC president Dana White asking for the fight.
“This, for a lot of people, is another history marker,” Carmouche said. “The fact that I’m the first open lesbian UFC fighter fighting on the main show. I know its big for everyone else and I know it’s big for the Liz Bo fans who are apart of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender) community. This is huge for them. They have a strong voice representing them like no other has done before.”
Carmouche, who turns 29 four days before the fight, also carries the flag for the Marines – for which she served for more than five years while stationed at Camp Pendleton.
The former helicopter mechanic says the Marines, and three tours in Iraq, prepared her for anything and everything she could possibly encounter in the octagon.
“Boot camp alone prepares you for MMA,” Carmouche said. “There is nothing that can be done to you that hasn’t been done to you in boot camp.”
In between training sessions, Carmouche teaches the next generation of MMA fighters at San Diego Combat Academy in Mission Gorge.
As a 12-1 underdog, not many people expect her to knock off Rousey, but Carmouche says she likes that role, and she knows that she needs to put on a good show for future women in the UFC.
“There is always that pressure for women in general,” Carmouche said. “We always have the pressure to come out here and give 150 percent and give the best show of the night just to show them that we need to be here.”
Not only be there, but stay there.