Undefeated Olympic medallists will clash when wrestling powerhouse Sara McMann challenges UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey at UFC 170 on February 22nd in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event title fight was announced following UFC 168 on Saturday night.
McMann has not fought since her Octagon debut when she stopped Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff in one-sided fashion at UFC 159 in April. Rousey retained her UFC title on Saturday with a thrilling third-round submission victory over arch rival Miesha “Cupcake” Tate in the UFC 168 co-feature.
McMann (7-0-0) has made a more gradual rise up the women’s rankings than her UFC 170 opponent, but she has proven herself as one of MMA’s most talented female competitors thanks to key wins over some of the sport’s bigger names. In only her third pro fight, McMann scored a dominant decision victory over fellow wrestler Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger, and she followed that up with wins against veterans Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano and Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler. At UFC 159, McMann mauled Gaff on the ground en route to a first-round TKO triumph.
Rousey (8-0-0), by contrast, is arguably the UFC’s biggest star today despite competing professionally for fewer than three years and having just two UFC fights to date. The charismatic and polarising judoka made history by becoming the first woman to ever win a UFC fight when she submitted Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 in February. After a stint coaching opposite Tate on The Ultimate Fighter 18, Rousey submitted her bitter rival for a second time during UFC 168 on Saturday. She now makes a quick return to the cage to defend her belt in February.
The fight between McMann and Rousey has been talked about for quite some time and almost took place when both fighters were just starting out in their respective pro MMA careers. An inability to agree on contracted fight weights and purses delayed the planned bout, but it will now serve as the main event of UFC 170 when the UFC returns to Las Vegas next year.
In other fights on the card, Daniel “D.C.” Cormier looks to keep his unbeaten record intact in his light heavyweight debut when he faces former UFC champion “Suga” Rashad Evans. Rory “Ares” MacDonald battles jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia in a welterweight fight. At lightweight, Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov faces Rafael dos Anjos, and former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez may face Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov.
UFC 170: “Rousey vs McMann” takes place on February 22, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo Credit: UFC)