Defending UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey puts her undefeated record on the line against fellow Olympian Sara McMann in UFC 170′s main event Saturday night.
Rousey (8-0), who won a bronze medal in judo at the Beijing Olympics, has quickly become one of mixed martial arts’ biggest stars since her UFC debut in February 2013, and enters as a heavy favorite.
The fight will mark the first time two female Olympians will meet in the UFC octagon. Another U.S. Olympian, wrestler Daniel Cormier, headlines the undercard against UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins.
“I’m super stoked, and it’s even better it’s happening with the Sochi Winter Olympics,” Rousey said (via Associated Press). “It just seems like this is the absolute perfect time for it to happen.”
McMann (7-0), a Takoma Park, Md.-native, won a silver medal in women’s freestyle wrestling at the Athens Olympics, but wasn’t sure what direction to take her career after she was finished with wrestling.
“You’re just doing it because of love of doing it,” said McMann, who has a young daughter (via Associated Press). “But at some point, when you have to work full-time and you have a family, you can’t do all those things. There are just not enough hours in the day. So if you can do what you love to do and train professionally and then spend time with your family, that’s an awesome, rare thing to be able to do.”
Rousey, who defeated Miesha Tate in UFC 168 less than two months ago, believes she has the advantage partially due to McMann’s familial obligations.
“I think that I’m more of a fighter than she is,” she said (via Yahoo Sports). “I can tell that this title is not as important for her as it is for me, she had a kid at home and she has to go home to that kid, and I can afford to be selfish, where she can’t.”
What: UFC 170 – Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
When: Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. for prelims and 10 p.m. for main cards
TV: Fox Sports 1 (prelims), pay per view (main cards)
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 135 lbs
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Weight: 135 lbs