UFC 170: Ronda Rousey Promised Coach Body Shot Victory, Says Cris “Cyborg” “Knows Where I’m At”
By Kelsey Mowatt
While the debate continues as to whether the UFC 170 headliner was stopped too early, and more than a few fans voted yes with a wailing round of boos, Ronda Rousey demonstrated that her arsenal is not limited to highlight reel throws and armbars. Of course, Rousey has continued to evolve as a fighter since her transition into MMA, but until last night, all six of her wins had come via her feared grappling skills, and of course, her trademark submission.
Heading into UFC 170, the promotional machine behind Rousey emphasized how far the bantamweight’s striking skills had come. Rousey even declared that her striking was “the best” in women’s MMA, and while last night’s win over Sarah McMann may not have proved that, clearly reports coming out of “Rowdy’s” camp weren’t far reaching yarns afterall.
“I thought she looked fantastic,” UFC boss man Dana White told FOX Sports 1. “She keeps me in the loop on everything she’s doing. She was sending me videos and she’s been bringing in people to spar and she’s been knocking them out, just like tonight.”
“It’s extremely satisfying to win and to do it with my stand-up,” the 27 year-old Rousey relayed. “I promised my coach I’d do it with a body shot. We knew she was a wrestler and she was going to be bent over.”
While Rousey and her camp are understandably thrilled about her performance, which came less than two months after the champ took out Miesha Tate at UFC 168, the bout was an anti-climatic affair. The pre-fight narrative was that McMann’s Olympic class wrestling skills might be able to negate Rousey’s renowned throws and ground game, and as a result, the latter could be in for a stern challenge. Thanks to Rousey’s liver shot, however, the bout was over in 66 seconds.
“I didn’t expect her to come out swinging,” Rousey noted about McMann, who came out firing punches and appeared to land a few hard shots. “I thought she was going to be more cautious. I had to adjust in the middle of the fight. That’s why we don’t really do game plans too much in the fights and we just make it up.”
Of course, there’s also the issue of whether referee Herb Dean jumped the gun, and whether McMann should have been given a second or two more.
“It was a little early for me,” Kenny Florian relayed during the post-fight, FOX Sports 1 show. “It was a body shot that knocked McMann down. If it was a knee to the face, I could see it being stopped right away. If it’s a body shot, you’ve got to give people a few seconds to recover. But as a fighter, you have to mask it a little bit and try to act like you’re ok. McMann froze.”
“I felt it for a second and my body just bent over,” McMann stated. “I heard Herb Dean and tried to get right back up. I’ve been put down for a good 15 seconds in practice and gotten back up. This wasn’t like that.”
Now it remains to be seen who Rousey will face next, and while in-house challengers like Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis remain, there’s no question that a bout with Cris “Cyborg” would be ridiculously massive. Just this week, “Cyborg” announced that she intends to drop to 135 in the coming months, and that Rousey is in her sights.
“Of course I’m interested,” said Rousey, when asked about the prospect of fighting the former Strikeforce featherweight champ. “I’m not going anywhere – she knows where I’m at.”
UFC 170 was hosted by the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.