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UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche draws sellout crowd, $1.4 million gate

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The first-ever UFC women's match turned out to be a major event, even in one of the nation's busiest markets. UFC 157, featuring a main event of Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche, with support from co-main event fighters Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, drew a sellout crowd of 15,525 to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

That added up to a $1.4 million gate.

While the attendance was a venue record for the UFC, the gate was only the third-highest in the promotion's four trips there, with UFC 121 cashing in to the tune of $2.2 million for a main event matching Brock Lesnar against Cain Velasquez.

Still, given the relatively untested draws on top of UFC 157, it has to be considered a success.

Overall, it was the third time Rousey found her name on the marquee of a major MMA event, but it was the first time since Strikeforce was absorbed by the UFC.

Rousey held on to the 135-pound belt with her seventh straight first-round arm bar victory, although it was hardly routine, as she had to survive a hairy submission attempt before notching the win.

Rousey's star power along with the historic UFC women's fight were the drawing cards on Saturday night. Rousey drew only 3,502 paid fans to her last main-event bout, against Sarah Kaufman at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego last August.

Since then, however, she's been featured on all sorts of television shows, in magazines and websites. Coupled with the UFC marketing blitz, it was a home run at the box office.

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