UFC 170: Keys to Victory for Ronda Rousey

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2014

Feb 21, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey participates in the UFC 170 weigh-in at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Ronda Rousey sits on top of the women's bantamweight mountain and will defend her championship at UFC 170 against Sara McMann on Saturday night.

McMann is a fellow undefeated fighter and Olympic medalist. However, their games are vastly different.

McMann won her silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games in wrestling. She is a strong woman who likes to take her opponent to the mat and employ classic ground-and-pound. She is also not afraid to have an old-fashioned brawl, even though her striking is not technically sound.

The champion enters as a significant favorite, but she will still need to walk into the cage and take care of business to retain her gold. Here are Rousey's keys to victory at UFC 170.


Be Patient

There is no reason for Rousey to be aggressive in this fight.

The champion can pick her shots against McMann. Rousey will be the taller fighter and will have the reach advantage on the feet. This goes along her with being a better boxer than McMann. She does not need to be forced into a brawl.

She merely needs to wait for McMann to decide to shoot in for a takedown. If Rousey gets aggressive, the challenger will have more opportunities for a takedown. The more passive she is against McMann, the more easily she can defend the takedown.


Defend the Takedown

McMann can win this fight, but in order to do so, she will need to take Rousey to the mat.

The champion has been taken down before, but her superior grappling ability showed itself quickly against her other opponents. We don't know how that will play out against another world-class grappler.

Rousey could do what she wanted against Tate because she was not a powerful wrestler. Rousey was the more physical and technical of the two.

McMann's top game is stronger than Tate's. She has a more compact base than Tate. However, she does not have the same technical submission defense ability that Tate does. She uses her brute strength to pull out of submissions, and that will not work against the champion.

The challenger must take Rousey down and grind on the champion to win. Rousey can make a victory much more difficult to come by for McMann by defending the takedown and staying on her feet.

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Ronda Rousey (black shorts) and Liz Carmouche (white shorts) fight during their UFC women's world bantamweight championship bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Be Herself

Rousey simply needs to be herself.

She is the better striker, and she can win the clinch battles with her judo. There is no need to do uncharacteristic things inside the Octagon on Saturday night.

The challenger has to be the one who comes out of her shell in the main event.

The path to gold for McMann is narrow. Rousey merely needs to continue doing what she has always done, and she will take another dominant win as she defends her strap.