After Ronda Rousey took out her longtime rival Miesha Tate to retain her UFC women’s bantamweight title in crippling fashion at UFC 168, it wasn’t long until she was called back into the cage. Dana White announced during the post-fight press conference that Rousey would meet top contender Sara McMann at UFC 170 in just two short months.
It was the first time two Olympic medalists ever faced off in the Octagon and it just so happened to be two women. Instead of animosity and bad blood fueling the fire of combat, this title fight would be all about respectful competition: Olympic-level judo pitted against Olympic-level wrestling, both undefeated in the UFC.
“I will always be the hardest [opponent for Ronda Rousey] because I’m the hardest one for her to control,” McMann said to FOX Sports back in 2014. “Compared to everyone else, I have the strongest wrestling background”
The bout was expected to finally be the huge test “Rowdy” Ronda had been building towards in her meteoric rise as MMA’s golden girl. It was not. After a well-timed knee, Rousey crumpled Sara McMann just over a minute into the first round earning her first career win that wasn’t an armbar submission.
Some critics debated if the TKO was a good stoppage or not. McMann herself didn’t contest it but has always thought she didn’t get a chance to truly display her skills as a fighter in the short encounter. Unfortunately, she’d never get another shot at Rousey or the belt.
“I know the fighter I am. Considering the fact that it was stopped after a minute and six seconds, that didn’t show the fighter that I am,” she said reflecting back on the fight in 2015. “Even to this day, people keep coming up to me and they’re like, ‘That fight was stopped too soon.’ I’m just sitting and eating lunch and people are like, ‘You should be in there; you’re the one that’s going to beat Ronda.’ I was like, ‘I think so, too.'”
Watch the entire fight again on UFC Fight Pass.