Micah Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — On Saturday, February 22, Ronda Rousey defended her UFC Women’s bantamweight title by TKO-ing fellow Olympian Sara McMann.
Prior to the bout, there was much in the way of anticipation between the two women. Though there was not the war of words seen prior to Rousey’s two bouts with Miesha Tate, many were excited to see what would happen if an Olympic level judo practitioner matched up with an Olympic level freestyle wrestler. Needless to say, the actual result of the battle was surprising.
The battle started as some expected. Sara McMann stayed on the outside and stuck Rousey with some solid one-two combos, but Rousey did manage to fire back. Though it seemed that McMann had the crisper punches, Rousey managed to close distance on McMann and initiate a clinch battle. From here, the fight began to swiftly turn in Rousey’s favor.
Ronda moved McMann up against the cage, and though McMann attempted a pair of doube-leg take downs, they were immediately stuffed by Rousey, and the battle stayed in the clinch. This is where McMann suffered, and ultimately lost the fight. In keeping her weight low so that Rousey could not use the same judo throws she had used to maul Miesha Tate in their second battle, McMann opened herself up to knees from this particular position, similar to how she did when she faced Shiela Gaff.
Rousey focused on the liver of McMann, and after a short time, she managed to land two consecutive knees, then a third that dropped the silver medalist for a moment. Referee Herb Dean then stepped in. Though McMann rose to her feet once Dean had come to her rescue, it was too late. The stoppage could be seen as a little premature to some, but ultimately Rousey maintained her crown, and also the title of being the best Women’s fighter in Mixed Martial Arts.
From here, it’s not easy to see where Rousey goes. Alexis Davis may be next in line to take a shot at the queen, or it could be Cat Zingano, who lost her chance when injury came knocking at the door. The saddest bit may that McMann finds herself at the back of the line, having to climb the proverbial ladder, because she was knocked away for a brief moment. Such is the unpredictability of mixed martial arts.