Sara McMann Says She’ll Go To The Ground On Her Terms Against Ronda Rousey


UFC women’s bantamweight title contender Sara McMann is in for the fight of her life when she squares off with Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 170 on February 22. The undefeated Olympic silver medalist wrestler is arguably the woman with the best chance to give Rousey a run for her money thanks to her extensive grappling background.

Despite being relatively inexperienced in MMA, McMann has several years of grinding athletic experience behind her. Rousey does as well, and “Rowdy” recently touched on how that gives her and McMann an edge over the other female combatants in the UFC.

While their records would indicate that to be true right now, Rousey and McMann can only focus on one another for the time being. The UFC 170 headliner from Las Vegas could end up being the most competitive title bout that the young UFC female division has ever seen.

McMann appeared at yesterday’s UFC 170 media luncheon to give her take on the level of competition created by Rousey and her being former Olympians (courtesy of MMA H.E.A.T.):

“You have to be prepared to win every single round and win every single position in the fight if you want to be the champion. I think that when you’ve been doing something, and it could be that you’ve been doing MMA for you know, 15 years, you can compete at such a pace that you really aren’t even thinking about what you’re doing. Your body and your muscle have such an ingrained pattern for you to do that really things happen because your body just does it. Your body doesn’t wait for your mind to catch up and process the information and then say to do it, because by that time that opportunity is gone. It just brings a different, higher level to things.”

With two opponents that have reached a transcending level of competing, their matchup should be quite the chess match. McMann moved on to discuss a bit of strategy at the scrum, specifically centered on her tendency to maintain top control as a wrestler:

“I think that in every single fight I’ve ever fought I typically like to be on top, so that doesn’t change anything from what I’ve done from the absolute beginning, is to have the fight go the ground on my terms.”

That’s where the struggle for position is going to originate at UFC 170, because all of Rousey’s armbar wins have come from top position. The fighter who can control where the bout goes on the ground is obviously going to have a big advantage. McMann hasn’t fought since defeating Sheila Gaff via TKO at UFC 159 last April, but she clarified she isn’t worried about coming back strong after training at such a high level for many years.

It appears that McMann is calm and focused on becoming champion. She isn’t the type to engage in a back-and-forth trash talking war with Rousey like Miesha Tate did. This bout is going to be all about the sheer level of competition, and it has the potential to be a great one. Do you give McMann a serious chance at dethroning the undisputed MMA queen?


  • I think Sara McMann is the first serious challenger that Rousey will have faced. I think up until now she's not really had a legitimate threat put in front of her; McMann is that, if nothing else.

    This should be a very entertaining scrap and should not be an immediate blowout for Ronda.

    And I'll say this about Sara, she has a very nice, calm and articulate way about her and she appears to be devoid of any overbearing ego. If she were to beat Rousey I think she'd make for a great ambassador of the sport and a solid champion.

  • @Brian, the problem for Sara and the women's division if she were to win. I Believe there is to many people like Matt Brown that don't enjoy womens MMA as much as the women looking good in there. Sara doesn't have that going for her and wouldn't be as marketable which could close doors for women's MMA before they're fully established. I do however agree that she is the 1rst real threat for Rousey, not because the other girls were bums, but because styles make fights. McMann being such an accomplished grappler she'll be the 1rst girl with similar core strength and mental preparation to challenge Ronda's grappling. I do think Rousey wins again however. Should be the most challenging fight we've seen for Rousey thus far. People tried over hyping the late Meisha fight acting as if Ronda was ever in trouble because it was in the 3rd round. Tate never had anything really going and Ronda was in there just as dominant as always. I personally believed Ronda let her out of the 1rst round to beat her up some more. That's probably just me though

    • SOS…if she wins and beats Rousey decisively, no one will care how hot she is. Sadly, it's even a consideration. It's great if the female champ is attractive, sure. However, it's not required and I really don't care. That said, I'm pretty sure if we put Sara through some serious makeover program, with the intent of making her look like some vixen, then I'm sure a lot of fans that car about such things would suddenly go…."wow, I had no idea that she was so hot."

      To me SOS, I'm a fan of the sport and I don't care. What I care about is who's the best fighter and I could care less what the look like; both male and female.

      I'm sure you feel the same way. 🙂