Mixed martial arts history was made last week when Ronda Rousey was awarded the first women's belt in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the organization announced her debut fight would headline UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 23.
Rousey's immense skills and ruthless competitiveness, combined with her glamour-girl looks and media-friendly personality, all added up to a package that finally made a UFC female division a reality.
But now that Rousey has been signed, there is a flip side to the story. Even though she is the sole reason the division exists, she can't fight herself. She's going to need opponents.
UFC president Dana White said several women turned down a chance to fight Rousey in such a high-profile setting.
Liz Carmouche did not, and she will be an equal part of the first female fight in the UFC.
"When I first heard, I was amazed. It didn't sink in right away. I still thought maybe I was sleeping and dreaming about it," the 28-year-old former Marine said. "(Ronda) and I get to make history together, however that happens, however it's promoted or how much people want to talk about her, we both got to participate in that moment."
Carmouche's inclusion also is notable in that she will be the first openly gay fighter to compete in the UFC. Rousey considers that a nonissue.
"Hell no, I don't care," the newly minted champion said. "After I beat her ass, I'll have her and her girlfriend out to the beach for a surf lesson or something."
Carmouche, nicknamed "Girl-Rilla," is not satisfied to just be a part of the bout. She thinks she stands a good chance to defeat Rousey, who is 6-0 with six first-round submissions by armbar in her pro career.
"I think I match up really well. I'm a strong grappler, and she's certainly very strong with her judo and her armbars. I think it will be a great style matchup," Carmouche said. "I don't think she's ever really faced adversity yet in her fight career. She certainly did in her judo career, but not yet in fighting, and I think I'm going to be the one to do that to her, and we'll see how she handles it."
■ DIAZ BACK IN TITLE MIX - Nick Diaz is likely to get the next shot at Georges St. Pierre's welterweight title, provided Diaz is re-licensed to fight when his 12-month marijuana suspension ends in February.
UFC president Dana White said this week St. Pierre wants to fight Diaz.
"(St. Pierre) said, 'I want Nick Diaz. We have unfinished business.' That's the fight I want," White said. "Georges St. Pierre has been a phenomenal champion and a great guy to deal with for us. He doesn't ask for things, so if he wants to fight Nick Diaz, then that's probably the fight we'll make."
It doesn't hurt that a Diaz-St. Pierre matchup would be a far bigger moneymaker than Johny Hendricks-St. Pierre.
Hendricks, who was named the No. 1 contender after he knocked out Martin Kampmann last month, quickly took to Twitter to express shock at being passed over. White responded that Hendricks eventually will get a title shot.
■ BUSY WEEK - The UFC will put on two cards this week, including "The Ultimate Fighter: Season 16" finale card on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Mike Ricci will meet Colton Smith for the season title, with Las Vegan Roy Nelson fighting Matt Mitrione, former competitors on the reality show, in the heavyweight main event.
The card begins at 2:30 p.m., with the main card airing live on FX (Cable 24) at 6.
UFC on FX 6, with a main event between lightweights George Sotiropoulos and Ross Perason, airs live at 6 p.m. Friday. The event actually takes place Saturday in Australia.
■ NEW DAY FOR TUF - The UFC and FX hope to boost stagnant TUF ratings by pitting trash-talking Chael Sonnen against superstar light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as coaches for the new season.
The season also will get a boost from a new day; the show will be moved off Fridays and into a more coveted Tuesday role. It also will get a 9 p.m. Eastern/6 Pacific time slot.
The show is filming now in Las Vegas, and episodes will debut Jan. 22.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.