UFC 159 results recap: Sara McMann vs. Sheila Gaff

USA TODAY Sports

The undercard of UFC 159 featured one women's fight as bantamweight Sara McMann grabbed a first round TKO victory over Sheila Gaff, and continued her run toward an eventual title shot.

One of the shortest fights of the night belonged to Sara McMann. She moved her career to 7–0 with her first round TKO victory over Sheila Gaff, and continued her campaign towards the women's bantamweight title.

Gaff started the fight with a terribly ill advised charge straight into a double leg takedown from McMann. She was able to stall long enough on the bottom to force a standup, but the tenor of the fight was set. Gaff came out of the restart swinging, and looked crisp in her short open exchange with McMann, but she overextended herself quickly and McMann dove for the clinch. Eventually McMann pulled her down with a single-leg. Gaff tried to sweep out of the takedown, but ended up giving up side control. McMann pounced on the opportunity for a mounted crucifix and from there the TKO stoppage was a matter of time. Final result: Sara McMann via 1st round TKO (strikes).

High point:

The high point of this fight was clearly McMann's awareness of her own strengths and her ability to feed her opponents into those strengths. Faced with a powerful striker she was quick to gain the clinch, and from there work to damage her opponent with ground and pound. She may need some polish on her MMA grappling if she wants to be a real threat to Ronda Rousey, but she appears to have her head in the right place.

Low point:

Gaff's gameplan was a glaring weakness. I don't know why she thought charging a powerful wrestler would be effective, it speaks to an incredibly low fight IQ. Fortunately for Gaff she's only 23, and probably hasn't faced a grappler like McMann before. If she can make this fight a learning experience she still has a lot of promise in an incredibly young division.

What's next?

McMann needs another fight, if not two, before she could reasonably be aligned for a title shot. Considering that Sarah Kaufman is probably in the same position she'd make a great next step.

For Gaff, she's still a total unknown. She may need to spend some time in Invicta getting fights against other middle of the pack bantamweights, but if not a fight with Amanda Nunes wouldn't be a bad idea.

Watch it now, later, or never?

Watch it now. This may be my WMMA bias speaking, but honestly it was a good short fight. As usual the women fought with a lot of energy and passion, and the finish was a nice piece of grappling prowess. Considering that it's only a one round fight, I'd give it a watch. If for no other reason than to familiarize yourself with a potential future title contender.

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