After successfully defending the women’s bantamweight title, ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey will face fellow Olympian medalist Sara McMann. These women have been following each other’s careers from the start, and at UFC 170, they will finally be able to match their skills in the Octagon. It will be the second time two undefeated fighters have fought in a title match, and the first time the fighters will have both competed (and medaled) in the Olympics.
Ronda displayed her world class judo in her last title defense, en-route to a third round submission victory over arch-nemesis Meisha Tate. Ronda, who obtained a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics, faced Tate for the second time in her career at UFC 168, obtaining her second submission win over ‘Cupcake.’ Ronda effortlessly countered Tate’s takedowns attempts, manipulating Cupcake’s momentum with hip-tosses that saw Ronda come out on top.
McMann’s lone victory in the UFC came in the form of a one sided beat-down against German fighter Sheila Gaff. McMann dominated the fight from the starting bell, countering Gaff’s striking with well-timed takedowns and dominant top position. McMann TKO’d Gaff towards the end of the first round, trapping the smaller sized German in a crucifix position and pounded away until the referee pulled them apart.
Rousey’s initial title defense was meant to be Cat Zingano, who stopped Tate in a ‘fight of the night’ performance last year. Zingano fell to injury and won’t be ready to fight Ronda until later this year, around April/June time. With Rousey opting to stay more active on this title run, McMann was chosen to be the next woman to fight for the title, in a fight that many fans have been imagining ever since the UFC’s acquisition of women from other organizations. Rousey herself admitted that she’s been watching McMann’s rise within the sport, expecting to meet the fellow Olympian in the octagon, and much like the Liz Carmouche fight, Rousey is showing true respect for her opponent.
Will McMann’s silver medal in wrestling trump Rousey’s bronze in Judo, or will the MMA evolution of Rousey prove too much for the wrestling-centric challenger? One thing is for sure, UFC 170 will be an important part of the sports history, and every fan should tune in.
Marcus Pordoy is an MMA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAnalysisRoom, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.