UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey picked up her ninth straight MMA victory at last night’s UFC 170 in Las Vegas, stopping Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann with a vicious knee to the body at only 1:06 of the first round.
It was “Rowdy’s” first striking stoppage victory, and it was also the fastest knockout in UFC female history. Although many thought that referee Herb Dean’s stoppage of McMann was bit premature, Rousey spoke up to FOX Sports after the fight to say she’ll take another win however she can get it:
“I mean, I’m happy to win, just anyway. You know, my mom always said ‘Pick the first opportunity no matter what it is. If it works, then it was good.’ And so, um, my mom was actually happy I won striking cause it was faster than an armbar would have been, and I never thought I would have heard her say that because she’s ‘Miss Original Armbar Lady.’”
“But I’m happy with it. I know that some of the fans probably wish they had a longer fight tonight, but you know what, I like going to bed a little earlier.”
Rousey touched on her newfound striking prowess, an added wrinkle to her game that is apparently making the already dominant champion a transcendent force in women’s MMA:
“I really have been working specifically on body shots, and I was taking more to the liver side this camp.”
She’s going to need every bit of striking skill she can accumulate if she wants to defeat Invicta FC featherweight champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, who recently said she would be dropping down to bantamweight to face Rousey in a long-awaited grudge match.
While Rousey is set to appear in the motion picture “Entourage,” which begins filming this March, she still wants to keep momentum rolling in the cage. “Rowdy” welcomed the challenge of “Cyborg” with open arms last night:
“Yeah, have her drop down, I’m not going anywhere. I’m the champ, where’s she at?”
Despite a Rousey vs. “Cyborg” bout being almost a sure thing for the biggest women’s MMA fight of all-time, there are still a few roadblocks to clear before the fight becomes a reality.
Rousey is tentatively set to return to the octagon sometime in late summer with injured No. 1 contender Cat Zingano as her next opponent.
And while UFC President Dana White is understandably willing to book the fight at some point down the road, he wants “Cyborg” to make bantamweight in a healthy manner a couple times first.
Still, this oft-discussed battle is a lot closer to actually happening than it ever has been. Will Rousey vs. “Cyborg” be a reality in the near future?