On December 28, Ronda Rousey successfully defended her UFC women's bantamweight title for a second time, dispatching Miesha Tate with an armbar. The win was Rousey's eighth as a professional fighter. It was also her eighth win via armbar submission.
Shortly after having her hand raised in victory UFC president Dana White revealed that Rousey's next fight would be against Sara McMann (7-0) and that the fight would headline UFC 170. Not only did White announce the fight, he also taped the poster for the February 22 fight card to the podium during the post-UFC 168 press conference.
That announcement gave Rousey less than two months to prepare for McMann, the shortest amount of time she has ever had between fights in her professional career. According to Rousey, who recently spoke to the media prior to an open workout, "I started this one (training camp) in shape, and my coach was going through his notes, and we realized that my best performances were when I had the shortest amount of time since the last fight. So, I feel like there are a lot of parallels between this fight and my fight with (Sarah) Kaufman, and I really feel the same way, and I really did have some issues with ring rust in the last one, and I don't think it's going to be an issue with this one."
Rousey had 10 months between her last two fights, defeating Liz Carmouche in February before facing Tate in December. She also filmed two movies during that time, perhaps leaving her less than optimally prepared to face Tate. Rousey had five months off between fights when she met Kaufman in August 2012.
We'll have to take Rousey at her word that she felt ring rust during her most recent fight. After all, Rousey netted $150,000 in bonus money in defeating Tate, taking home Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night honors.
One of the only tangible differences between the Tate fight and Rousey's previous seven fights was the length of time she spent in the cage. Rousey's previous record for fight time was 4:49. It took her 10:58 to dispatch Tate.
Rousey seemed particularly unhappy about that fact, saying that the quick fights left her opponents underestimating her.
The book on Rousey in the past has been train for the armbar and then train for the armbar some more. Rousey feels now that she has shown she has more than one move in her arsenal, her future opponents may not underestimate her skills as a well-rounded mixed martial arts.
The defending champion said she was looking forward to facing McMann. She also pointed out that the fight will have some historical significance for the UFC other than being only the second time a women's title fight has headlined a UFC event, "It's not just that we're two Olympians, we're Olympic medalists, and we're not just Olympic medalists, we're two undefeated Olympic medalists that are fighting during the Olympic games, I don't think this will happen ever again."
Rousey's Olympic medal came at the 2008 games where she captured a bronze medal in judo. McMann scored her medal, a silver, four years earlier in freestyle wrestling. When asked if she would have an easier time with McMann's wrestling than McMann would have with her judo, Rousey was blunt, "Well, since I know that I'm going to win, I think so. It's easier for me to prepare for it than it would be for her."
The Olympic judoka went on to say that the reason she feels this way is because McMann will have a more difficult time finding high-level judo training partners than Rousey will have finding wrestling training partners in America. Rousey went on to say that she had trained with one of the women who defeated McMann during her wrestling career.
Before Rousey ended her time with the media, talk turned to her burgeoning movie career. Rousey recently signed on to act in two upcoming projects and the question was asked if she was going to forgo her fighting career for a career on the silver screen. Rousey replied, "Well, I'm a fighter. I enjoy fighting. I was doing judo for a decade and a half for pretty much no money. I just want to have enough money to do what I enjoy for a living, and right now the main thing that I enjoy is fighting." Rousey added, "I really feel like my life is on the line every time I'm out there, so anything that would distract me from that, no matter how cool or amazing it is, I can't afford to give it much of my attention right now."
UFC 170 will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
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