ANAHEIM Ronda Rousey won the first women's bout in UFC history Saturday night, beating Liz Carmouche on an armbar with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157.
Bantamweight Urijah Faber of Sacramento beat Ivan Menjivar with an acrobatic rear naked choke late in the first round, and former UFC champion Lyoto Machida won a lackluster split decision over 42-year-old veteran Dan Henderson on the undercard at Honda Center.
Rousey (7-0) defended her belt with her signature move, forcing Carmouche to tap out after bending back her arm. Rousey raised both arms in victory while flat on the canvas after the longest fight of the mixed martial artist's ascendant career.
"Is this real life right now? I'm not sure," Rousey said.
The sellout crowd largely showed up to see Rousey, whose star power and athleticism ended UFC President Dana White's long-standing disinterest in women's MMA and even put Rousey and Carmouche in the main event of a pay-per-view show.
The women didn't disappoint in their sport's pressure-packed debut. Although Rousey was heavily favored, Carmouche (7-3) actually got Rousey in trouble early, nearly landing a rear naked choke while clinging to Rousey's back in the opening two minutes.
Rousey, who had never been so seriously threatened in a bout, barely escaped the chokehold. She gradually imposed her will on the former Marine after that, finally getting her legs on top of Carmouche and patiently separating her arms to land an armbar.
Rousey, who became the first American woman to win an Olympic judo medal, has won all seven of her professional MMA bouts by armbar, a judo move that has dislocated at least two opponents' elbows.
Faber (28-6) got his career back on track with an impressive victory over Menjivar (25-11), a Salvadoran veteran fighting out of Canada. With his home-state crowd behind him, Faber took early control on the ground and then finished Menjivar by clinging to his back and wrapping both legs around his standing opponent, forcing Menjivar to tap out while on his feet with 26 seconds left in the opening round.
Although Faber has a huge fan following after dominating the now-defunct WEC, he was just 2-2 since moving to the UFC two years ago.
Machida (19-3), the former light-heavyweight champion, had lost three of his previous five bouts before edging Henderson (29-9) in a slow, technical fight.