Sara McMann will face off against Ronda Rousey at the main event of UFC 170, in a battle between two undefeated WMMA stars. ‘Rowdy’ has run the roost and helped pioneer Women’s fighting, to the point that it has become a PPV-headlining, mainstream attraction.
Rousey’s legacy in the sport is tough to ignore, especially considering she has only one more fight at 8-0 than her relatively unknown opponent at 170. McMann is most definitely not a can, and her status as a heavy underdog may not be deserved.
When you look at her record, you realise that McMann has a very similar background to the number one WMMA fighter Rousey; having grappled since an early age, and competed in over 40 tournaments, McMann fulfilled her potential and won a silver medal in the 2014 Olympic games.
An amateur wrestler and submission grappling specialist, McMann might be the biggest threat to Rousey’s bantamweight strap. Being able to defend the armbar from Rousey could well be the key to McMann’s victory, although there are more factors to consider.
We saw a dramatic improvement in the striking of Ronda Rousey at UFC 168; ‘Rowdy’ put on a clinic against Miesha Tate, on the ground and on the feet. A takedown may not be on the cards for McMann, and from what I saw in her UFC 159 bout against Shiela Gaff, her striking is below par.
McMann has a tendency to fight to a decision, often utiliazing wrestling control as her main offense. Rousey, however, has never seen a judge’s scorecard and her clinical finishing could be a huge problem for SM. Being used to bullying opponents with her wrestling, having to worry about Rousey’s striking and bottom game/finishing are all powerful points to consider.
It would seem that Rousey has near all the advantages on her side ahead of this bout. If I were in McMann’s camp, I would have stressed that striking training takes primacy. The only (known) kink in Rousey’s armour is that she is not a natural striker. Although it could also be a moot point as McMann is not either.
Having looked at it realistically, it doesn’t look too great for McMann after all. That’s my take on it anyway. If she is to stand any chance at all, she needs to be on point with her ground game, better standing, and be able to stifle all of Rousey’s offense. I just don’t see it hapenning.