Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey defended her UFC women’s bantamweight title and ended Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann’s night early with a perfectly timed liver shot in the first round of their UFC 170 main event in Las Vegas.
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Both came out aggressive with each landing several strikes, before clinching in the corner. Once Rousey landed the knee to the liver, McMann crumpled to the mat, holding her mid-section. With Rousey swarming strikes on her, referee Herb Dean made the controversial call to stop the fight, as she was trying to get up, minutes into the first round.
McMann was classy afterwards, acknowledging her defeat, but it was obvious that she thought the fight was called too quickly.
MMA Crossfire Cassie Wiseman pointed out that Dean in an earlier bout, let fighters take much more punishment, making his call against McMann inconsistent.
At the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White agreed with Rousey’s comments that Cat Zingano – who gave up her title shot to Meisha Tate at UFC 168 due to injury – deserves the next shot at the title.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in:
- Cassie is a mixed martial artist with over five years of study. Training primarily in South Korea, she has black belts in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Muay Thai kickboxing. A proud Canadian from Roberts Arm, Newfoundland, she files for The Crossfire having returned from South Korea. She also blogs for Postmedia Networks’ Womens Fight Club website. Image courtesy Steve Bartlett
- UFC/Zuffa LLC
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
ERNEST CHAVEZ VS YOSDENIS CEDENO
WINNER: YOSDENIS CEDENO VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Wiseman: Considering both of these guys took this fight, their UFC debut, on short notice it was a great fight. Cedeno had the strong stance, throwing all of his energy with every combination. Chavez tried to close the distance whenever possible for a takedown. While Cedeno won in the striking match, Chavez with several takedowns and a superior gas tank was able to squeeze out a split decision.
RAFAELLO OLIVEIRA VS ERIK KOCH
WINNER: ERIK KOCH VIA KO/TKO.
Wiseman: I certainly didn’t see Koch winning via TKO, especially with Oliveira looking like a 170-pounder. However, it was all about precision for Koch. From the moment he rocked Oliveira to his ground and pound, every shot hit bang on. Fantastic striking by Koch. Oliveira looked great and showed impressive kicks to start off the round, but the striking of Koch just too much for him tonight.
SPORTSNET 360 PRELIMS
#10 ZACH MAKOVSKY VS JOSH SAMPO
WINNER: ZACH MAKOVSKY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: While Sampo has a better submission game and is a powerful striker, he was unable to defend the takedowns of Makovsky. Makovsky scoring takedowns made it challenging for Sampo to remain on his feetl. Even when they were standing, Makovsky zipped in and out of the pocket without suffering much damage. Impressive second fight by Makovsky.
CODY GIBSON VS ALJAMAIN STERLING
WINNER: ALJAMAIN STERLING VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: No one can question the heart of Gibson because he never gave up for a moment. Sterling used his striking and innovative kicks to keep Gibson guessing. Gibson grappled and scored takedowns, but Sterling kept the striking and ground game in his favor. Solid fight by both fighters.
#3 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VS PEDRO MUNHOZ
WINNER: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: While Munhoz did a load of damage to the left leg of Assuncao, his inability to follow up with combinations allowed Assuncao to unload for 15 minutes. This in addition to the power advantage of Assuncao really make for a rough night for Munhoz. There was no shortage of pressure by Munhoz, but definitely too defensive for his own good in this match.
#3 ALEXIS DAVIS VS #5 JESSICA EYE
WINNER: ALEXIS DAVIS VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Wiseman: The takedowns and the ground control by Davis in the first and second round really gave Davis the fight. Eye countered very well, but she needed to do more, especially in the final round. The technical boxing was shown by Eye, but Davis with her ground control gave her a slight edge for the split decision win.
ROBERT WHITTAKER VS STEPHEN THOMPSON
WINNER: STEPHEN THOMPSON VIA TKO.
Wiseman: The side stance, the kicks, the combinations, and the head movement of Thompson just made him impossible to hit. Whittaker would lunge to try to catch Thompson, but the striking and countering was just at a different level. Picture perfect for Thompson.
#15 MIKE PYLE VS TJ WALDBURGER
WINNER: MIKE PYLE VIA TKO.
Wiseman: Waldburger was dealing with such an experienced fighter, but he did have more success with his combinations in the second and third round. Waldburger showed ground defence, but Pyle is just the complete fighter. His striking, ground game, and ground and pound overwhelmed Waldburger. TJ did make it a very entertaining fight and he is always dangerous, so big win for Pyle.
RORY MACDONALD VS #6 DEMIAN MAIA
WINNER: RORY MACDONALD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: As expected Maia had the advantage which was the problem in the first round. However, MacDonald stuck through the first round and the punishment, then turn on the superior striking in the second and third. It certainly was the Rory of old and Maia’s cardio didn’t help the situation. Fantastic fight.
DANIEL CORMIER VS PATRICK CUMMINS
- WINNER: DANIEL CORMIER VIA TKO.
Wiseman: This fight was just something put together to justify all the hard work Cormier did to drop the weight. Cummins never really stood a chance and the fight was so short that I don’t even know if Cormier improved his striking. Cormier was a beast at heavyweight and he is still a beast at 205.
RONDA ROUSEY VS #4 SARA MCMANN
WINNER: RONDA ROUSEY VIA TKO.
Wiseman: Fights flying, no feeling out process between these two. A great minute and a bit, but Rousey landed a liver shot which caused McMann to drop. By drop I mean for a few seconds before she was trying to get back to her feet, but Herb stepped in too fast. Was Sara hurt? Yes, but in a previous fight earlier in the card Herb let a fighter get knocked out over and over again before stepping in. Consistent? Anything but. Gross call.