Liz Carmouche, who fought in the debut of the UFC bantamweight women’s division in February, made history again Saturday at UFC on FOX 8. She earned a second-round TKO victory over Jessica Andrade in the first bout featuring two openly gay UFC fighters.
Carmouche spent much of the first round locked in a guillotine choke, however, Andrade never was able to ratchet it down before time expired in the first.
“I felt safe,” Carmouche said. “It (the hold) wasn’t deep. She was over my chin. I just couldn’t get my head loose. As tiny as she is, getting my hands free was difficult.”
From there, it was all Carmouche. She pummeled Andrade with punches and nearly had a couple of submissions before the bout was stopped with a minute left in the second.
“I really thought I had her in the first round,” Andrade said. “In the second round, my plan was to go in with my striking and try to hold her down. It just didn’t happen.”
Earlier this week, the Brazilian acknowledged there would be added attention on the fight.
“I hope this is opening doors for other people to be open about who they are and how they feel," Andrade said through a translator. "We want to show everybody that we’re not different from anybody else. Whatever you sexual orientation is, it doesn’t affect how you work or who you are or what you do.”
In a summer in which the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage with a pair of decisions and with more than a dozen states allowing same-sex couples to marry, Carmouche said the lack of attention paid to her and her opponent’s sexual identity also shows progress.
“I do think it’s great,” Carmouche said this week. “It shouldn’t be a focus on our sexual preference. It’s not who we are as fighters. It’s just an aspect of who we are as people. It’s nice to finally drift away from that.”