The women's bantamweight belt was on the line in Las Vegas, as undefeated Olympic judo medalist Ronda Rousey faced undefeated Olympic freestyle wrestling medalist Sara McMann in the UFC 170 main event. Rousey came in as a big favorite (predictably), but many fans and pundits believed McMann would give her the toughest test of her career.
McMann landed the cleaner shots right out of the gate, tagging Rousey with some nice combinations and counter-punches as the champion came forward. After the wild opening exchange, Rousey muscled McMann towards the fence, firing away knees to the body. McMann tried to get Rousey away from her with standing elbows but Rousey's attack was relentless, and she had McMann doubled over in pain after a massive knee to the liver. Herb Dean immediately stepped in to stop the fight as Rousey tried to finish a prone McMann with punches. Official Result: Ronda Rousey def. Sara McMann via TKO (knee to the body) at 1:06, round 1.
What was the high point of the fight?
In a fight where the expectation was for Rousey to try and work for her usual armbar victory, her offensive striking was on display and the finishing blow was definitely the high point.
Where do they go from here?
Rousey (9-0) has now defended her UFC belt 3 times, and while there's no official "next opponent" for her, Alexis Davis or Cat Zingano, who had originally earned a title shot against her last year, will likely get next crack.
McMann (7-1) loses for the first time in her MMA career and unfortunately she fell victim to a beautifully executed and powerful body shot. It was a bit disappointing not to see the fight play out longer than it did, but she's still a top commodity at women's 135, and I believe she should face Jessica Eye.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Rousey showcased new fight-finishing skills and made it look incredibly easy. Plus you'll want to see the ending to determine whether or not Herb Dean made a premature call to halt the proceedings.