Sara McMann vs Sheila Gaff Targeted For UFC 159 On April 272004 Olympic silver medallist Sara McMann now has an opponent for her first fight inside the UFC Octagon. The standout wrestler will face knockout artist Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff in a featured bantamweight matchup at UFC 159, which is set to take place on April 27th in Newark, New Jersey. was first to report on plans for the bout today. McMann remains unbeaten in her MMA career and most recently defeated Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler at Invicta FC 2. Gaff moves back up to 135 pounds after earning three straight first-round knockout wins as a flyweight.

McMann (6-0-0) has taken progressive steps up in competition for each of her fights since turning pro in May 2011. She fought four times in three months, earning victories in each fight and finishing three of her opponents. This past year, McMann posted a Unanimous Decision victory over Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano for ProElite and made her Invicta FC debut against Baszler in July. McMann and Baszler battled back and forth for 15 minutes and McMann ultimately prevailed via a razor-thin Unanimous Decision on the scorecards. She was then booked to face Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche for Strikeforce in November, but withdrew from the fight due to an injury. Now healthy, McMann will make her UFC debut next month.

Gaff (10-4-1) spent much of the early portion of her career competing as a featherweight before moving down to bantamweight and then to 125 pounds in 2011. Her three-fight run as a flyweight yielded a trio of first-round highlight-reel stoppages of opponents Hanna Sillen, Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly and Jennifer Maia. The knockout wins over Sillen and Maia lasted a combined total of just 18 seconds. Gaff was then set to face Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton in the finals of the inaugural Cage Warriors women’s flyweight title tournament in October. Both fighters enrolled in VADA anti-doping testing leading up to the fight, but the bout was scrapped eight days out when Gaff withrew due to an illness. She returns to the bantamweight division for her UFC debut and faces arguably her toughest opponent to date.

UFC 159: “Jones vs Sonnen” takes place on April 27th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event is headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon “Bones” Jones and Chael Sonnen.



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  1. Sheila Gaff? Alexis Davis would be too risky for McMann, I believe. Gaff walks around at 140 lbs. … She might be the smallest girl in the division.

  2. Gaff would kill anyone in the world at 125, but 135 has too many good wrestlers. But 135 is now where the money, fame, and glory is thanks to the UFC. It makes no sense to stay at flyweight or featherweight if you can make the weight and fight in the UFC.

    Gaff has never faced a wrestler as good as McMann. While McMann has never seen a striker as good as Gaff. Still favor the wrestler.

  3. Gaff has been overwhelming 125 lbers. with physical strength — something that won’t happen with Mcmann.

    I think Sheila Gaff is a beast at 125 lbs and, in fact, she was dominating physically Cindy Dandois, a big 145 lber.

    But we saw in the past her submission defense skills are “iffy”, and that she is small for the 135 and 145 lbs. divisions.

  4. BTW, I really hope UFC signs Jessica Eye. She fought at 130 lbs. before and she is a big 125 lber.

    That girl rocks!

  5. This looks like an attempt to showcase top bantamweights without losing legit contenders to a title eliminator. If they put Davis against McMann, then whoever lost would be out of the mix. Tate and Zingano aren’t an issue because Tate’s already had a shot. If Miesha takes out Cat (doubtful, in my opinion), then she’ll have a high profile win to justify a rematch against Ronda (which she’ll lose). While I won’t call it a squash match, Gaff has had a rough run against grapplers in the past. McMann should win this, though it may be ugly and Fitch-like.

  6. My thoughts exactly, JT. If they set Miesha vs Alexis vs McMann, they will run out of title contenders. I think these three will be “protected” for the time being, so they will have title fights for the forthcoming year.

  7. If they’re looking to protect Miesha, they chose the wrong girl. I’ll be shocked if she lasts all 3 rounds against Zingano. I’m expecting a beatdown into a submission by mid to late 2nd round.

  8. Miesha’s got a really tough fight in her hands. Cat seems as strong as Sarah Kaufmann, and she is also very aggressive.

    Miesha’s very, very tough mentally, though. So, I would never count her out. See her fights against Marloes Coenen and against Julie Kedzie… also, her refusal to tap to Ronda’s armbar…

  9. She earned the win against Coenen, but I put the blame squarely on Kedzie for losing against Miesha. Miesha’s mentally tough (or stubborn, really), so I don’t expect her to go down easily, but she’s got a terrible match up against Zingano and I fully expect her to lose.

  10. There was so much back room bullshit going on b etween goldenglory marloes coenen camp and zuffa, at the tate coenen fight, that marloes really wasnt as focused as she should of been, too many outside distractions, but i think marloes beats her if all the bullshit wasnt going on, marloes will never say something like that, but if you followed all the shit that was going, you can see how it can affect a fighters focus, i think zingano is going to,beat tate, and i think davis or zingano have the best chances of beating rousey, i think if davis or zingano get rouseys back like both tate and carmouche did, i think they keep back control and sub rousey.rousey has had arguably good match ups, i will explain my opinion,tate is mainly a wrestler, she is smaller than rousey, and at the time she really believed her wrestling was better than ouseys world class judo, well we saw it was close but rouseys judo was better, 2, kaufman, we all know the ground is not sarahs strong point, she has pretty good stiking but not one punch ko power, so unless kaufman koed rousey before she got tied up, it was going to be another rousey victory, 3we now come to, carmouche fight, carmouche is way smaller than rousey, has a blue belt in ju jits, isnt a power puncher, so again its a preety favorable match up for rousey, mcmann, davis, and zingano all present better all around skills than any of rouseys other 135 fights, yes i know kaufman beat davis, but itif davis had not wanted to prove that she could stand with kaufman and took the fight to the ground like she did in rd three, then idont think kaufman would of made it without getting subbed. I think this was the fight that really got alexis motivated because since then she subbed akano, and shana fucking basyler like that is incredable, basyler has a wicked ground game, yet davis madeher tap, davis is going to beat rousey