Leading up to her last fight, Ronda Rousey was quick with the trash talk and even quicker with the middle fingers. Those types of outbursts have been absent in the lead up to her UFC 170 fight against Sara McMann.
The histrionics may be missing heading into Saturday's fight, but that should not lead one to believe that there will be a lack of intensity from the UFC women's bantamweight champion heading into the contest. Rousey (8-0), speaking on a media call said of McMann (7-0) , "Regardless of how nice and saintly Sara is I worked my entire life to get what I have now. She's still trying to rip away everything I worked for, and that's not very nice."
Rousey obviously respects her opponent, a 2004 Olympic medalist in wrestling. However that level of respect and a lack of animosity are not going to cause Rousey to lose focus heading into her third title defense . Rousey claimed, "It's easy for me to focus. I live with girls that fight in my weight division, and we'll find ways to focus if it ever comes down to us fighting each other. You don't have to actually dislike the person when you enter the Octagon, you just have to empty yourself of emotion, and I'm going to be doing that when I fight Sara."
In her last defense of the title Rousey defeated Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC 168. Rousey forced Tate to tap to an armbar in the third round of that December 28 contest. The UFC does not normally announce a champion's next opponent and next fight date immediately following a successful title defense, but the promotion did so with Rousey during the UFC 168 post-fight press conference. UFC president Dana White went so far as to display a poster for UFC 170 on the podium, a poster that announced Rousey versus McMann as the main event on that card.
It was a somewhat surprising move, but it was a move that Rousey had known was coming for weeks. That initial call about the fight came three weeks before she was set to face Tate.
Rousey said she was initially reluctant to say yes to the McMann fight, after all she was in the heart of her training camp
for Tate. However, after defeating Tate she changed her mind, "At the press conference, after the Miesha fight, I was pretty much so amped up, I was super excited to get back in there," Rousey said. "You're in a little bit of a different mindset in the heart of camp. After that phone call with Dana I said ‘I'm totally down to do it, let me call my coach and ask him what he thinks.' So, I called Edmond up, and he said, ‘You call Dana back and tell him we'll f--k up any b---h he wants in February.' So I called Dana back and gave him that exact quote, and he was pretty stoked about it."
White has good reason to be "stoked" about the fight between Rousey and McMann, he's getting a short turnaround fight from the woman he recently called the "biggest superstar we've ever had." White added that if Rousey wins this fight she would become one of the UFC's top-ten all-time earners in just her third UFC fight.
White's praise coupled with McMann's Olympic credentials and unbeaten MMA record have Rousey, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo approaching this fight as a challenge. In fact, the unbeaten defending champion said that views McMann as the biggest challenge she has faced to date.
UFC 170 will take place on February 22 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
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