Ronda Rousey vs Sara McMann: What We Learned from UFC 170 Main Event

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2014

Ronda Rousey, right, knees Sara McMann during a UFC 170 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title fight on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. Rousey won by TKO. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann sat atop as the main event of a night full of squash matches. Daniel Cormier crushed Patrick Cummins. Erik Koch effortlessly dispatched Rafaello Oliveira. Raphael Assuncao took three easy rounds over Pedro Munhoz.

While it was up for debate whether or not the title fight fit that billing, one thing that was beyond dispute was that Rousey was the smart pick. It wasn't even close, really.

That billing is deserved, of course. After all, this is the woman who consistently forces taps with minimal effort, even from some of the best ladies in the fight game like Sarah Kaufman, Sarah D'Alelio and Miesha Tate. The same fighter who racked up six first-round submission wins to start her UFC career.

McMann is undeniably skilled. In theory, she has the pure athleticism, grappling chops and striking power to threaten Rousey. But, as we all know, "in theory" is rarely a positive thing.

In reality, Rousey did what she always does; beat an opponent with little issue. 

In standard Rousey fashion, she ate a couple of punches that had her fans biting their nails, but wound up with a tight clinch. While her standard tactic from there is to ply her Judo in the form of throws and trips, McMann's strong takedown defense kept her from doing so. So she channeled her inner Anderson Silva, manipulating McMann's torso to set up a brutal knee to the midsection.

McMann crumbled, clutching herself in pain. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight on the spot, possibly a bit too early, but that was ultimately of little consequence. Rousey earned the win, and not just any win, but her first-ever TKO victory.

By doing so, Ronda Rousey taught the world a lesson. Not only is she as good as advertised, but there isn't a single fighter in the UFC that could hope to challenge her.

Sure, there are logical contenders in Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis. 

Zingano, though, has been shelved for nearly a year now with a knee injury and barely squeaked by Miesha Tate when they fought in the TUF 17 Finale. Alexis Davis, meanwhile, looked undersized against former 125-pounder Jessica Eye on Saturday and has struggled to bring things to the ground against fighters that aren't as skilled in takedown defense as Rousey.

Neither of them are legitimate threats to Rousey, and, because of that, she has an unbreakable grip on her belt. Frankly, the only true threat to her reign comes from Hollywood, offering her more money for less work.

So sit back and enjoy the ride, fight fans. The Ronda Rousey train doesn't look like it will stop until she decides it does.