Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, 27, successfully defended her Bantamweight Championship belt against UFC ranked number four, Sara McMann, 33, on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas . This victory comes just two months after Rousey’s highly publicized fight against UFC ranked number two fighter, Meisha Tate.

 

Both Rousey and McMann hold Olympic medals, and both athletes had undefeated professional records going into the Octagon® for the main event of the night at UFC 170. The predictions were more or less split; some acknowledged that the match up was too close to tell with both women having both height and reach measurements within an inch of each other and both weighing in at 135 pounds the day before the event.

 

For Rousey, the difference between this fight and others was the fact that McMann is an Olympic medalist in wrestling. Until Saturday’s event, Rousey had an 8-0 professional record — all won by a strategic ground technique called the “armbar.” This maneuver involves the hyper-extension of an opponent’s elbow, causing them to concede the fight by submitting.

 

With McMann’s advanced ground skills in mind, Ronda spent her time preparing for the event by focusing more on “liver shots.” This meant finding a known weak spot in the torso that will cause the organs to lock up and the fighter to collapse when hit hard enough.

 

Ronda Rousey strikes while Sara McMann defends in UFC 170 on Saturday, February 22. USATSI.

Ronda Rousey strikes while Sara McMann defends in UFC 170 on Saturday, February 22. USATSI.

As Rousey had McMann pinned against the cage of the Octagon®, she struck McMann using her knee.  It was this blow that caused McMann to fall to her hands and knees, clutching her side with one hand in obvious pain. Rousey continued the assault for only a few moments before referee Herb Dean called the fight — a mere 66 seconds into the first round — and after McMann failed to adequately protect her face from Rousey’s fists.

 

The loss was a huge upset for McMann, especially given that this was only her second fight since joining the UFC organization in February 2013; the victory was even sweeter for Rousey. The technical knockout call settles the accusations that Rousey may be a one trick pony with her “armbar” submissions.

 

While no dates have been announced for Rousey or for McMann, we can expect to see them both back in the Octagon® again relatively soon. With the rising popularity of women in the UFC, more females are beginning to show up on the fight cards. You can see Tate and the UFC No. 7 female fighter, Liz Carmouche, square off in the co-main event on April 19 on FOX.

 

What do you think of these female up-and-comers in fighting organizations such as the UFC? Will you be watching the Tate vs. Carmouche event in April? Let’s talk about these fierce athletes here in the comments section below, or you can tweet me @TiffaniJPurdy.