Ronda Rousey’s submission victory at UFC 168 answered many questions regarding her evolution as a fighter. Many fans and pundits had actually picked Miesha Tate to win at 168, claiming that Rousey’s ‘one trick’ arsenal was getting a little old. ‘Rowdy’ showed improved stand up and clinical finishing, but new questions have arisen about her next opponent.
Sara McMann will challenge for the Women’s Bantamweight title at UFC 170, and she is a whole different kettle of fish from ‘Cupcake’. McMann’s Olympic, Pan American and world championship grappling background may be enough to survive the onslaught from Rousey on the mat.
Usually known for her outspoken antics ahead of fights, ‘Rowdy’ remained level headed in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports:
"I couldn't be more excited than to have an athlete on Sara's level to test myself against, it raises the whole level for everyone. I don't have a bad thing to say about her."
"It's hard to sell the same thing over and over and over," Rousey said. "I think the dynamic of the [UFC 170] fight is so different that it makes it easier to get people interested so soon. I approach every single fight differently. I think this is the perfect fight at the perfect time."
Rousey turned a lot of heads with her attitude during her recent stint on The Ultimate Fighter, but it appears she may have turned a corner. Often known for her boisterous nature, it is refreshing to see that Rousey can still play nice.
"'I've been following Sara's career since the very beginning," Rousey said. "We pretty much started around the same time, and I always thought this will be the perfect fight to bring up on the big venue. This is the perfect time for everything coming together."
Rousey/McMann will serve as the main event of the February 170 card, and shows just how much WMMA has come on in recent times. McMann could well prove to be the next big thing in the WBW division, but she faces a different kind of beast in Rousey.
Attitude and past discrepancies aside, ‘Rowdy’ is the champion for a reason; she is undoubtedly the best female fighter on the planet right now. Whether McMann has the mettle and skill set to snatch her belt is yet to be seen.