Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann Booked for UFC 170 in February

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

USA Today

Just minutes after Ronda Rousey beat Miesha Tate with her signature armbar, the UFC's female champion already had her next opponent lined up.

Rousey will face off with Sara McMann at UFC 170 on February 22, 2014.

The announcement came at the UFC 168 post-fight press conference, and comes as something of a shock, given the long layover between fights for Rousey, who spent 10 months out of the cage between her UFC debut opposite Liz Carmouche in February and this fight on Saturday.

Still, it is a blessing for the UFC, which is desperately seeking strong main events with numerous champions—including Cain Velasquez, Anthony Pettis and possibly Chris Weidman—injured.

Rousey's skill set needs no introduction. She is one of the greatest athletes in women's MMA and has a world-class judo background—including a bronze medal from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing—that constantly shows up in her bouts as she throws opponents with no effort.

According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, UFC president Dana White had mentioned the possibility of close back-to-back fights for Rousey before her fight with Tate.

Rousey also commented: "I've taken such a long time off, I want to fight again. I’m in the best shape of my life now, so it’s the perfect time to go back, and we’ll put on another good show for you guys very soon. This is what I love to do."

McMann is a mystery to MMA fans, but she is somewhat similar to Rousey. McMann owns a silver medal in freestyle wrestling from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but she is somewhat inexperienced. She has only seven professional fights to her credit, just one of which came in the UFC (where she roughed up Sheila Gaff, who was cut shortly after).

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Sara McMann (black shorts) competes against Sheila Gaff (not pictured) during UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

She does, however, own a notable win over women's MMA veterans and eventual The Ultimate Fighter 18 participants Tonya Evinger and Shayna Baszler.

Make no mistake—McMann owns a deceptively good chance of beating Rousey and will almost certainly be the greatest challenge of her career to date.

The bout replaces Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier as the main event on the card. The light heavyweight tilt will remain on the card, but is moved down to the co-main event.

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