Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey has done it yet again.
The reigning UFC women's bantamweight champion defended her title on Saturday—this time with a first-round TKO victory over previously unbeaten Sara McMann at UFC 170 in Las Vegas.
Although we've seen Rousey get her hand raised before, this win had a twist. It wasn't Rousey's signature armbar that ended the bout, but rather a knee to the liver in the first round.
According to UFC, this was the fastest KO in women's bantamweight history:
.@RondaRousey's KO/TKO at 1:06 is the fastest in UFC women's BW history. Rousey is the 1st female to record a knockdown in her division.— UFC (@ufc) February 23, 2014
The bout may have been between two Olympic grapplers, but the two slugged it out on the feet from the outset. McMann may have landed a few solid shots, but Rousey was able to drive her opponent to the cage and end the bout with a knee to the body.
McMann went to the mat immediately, and Herb Dean called a stop to the fight.
Did Herb Dean stop the fight too early?
There's no doubt that this victory will just add to the growing legend of Rousey. With an unbeaten record of 9-0 and all eight of her previous victories coming by way of submission, it's clear that she is one of the organization's most exciting champions and most marketable stars.
One could argue that this win stands out as the most impressive in her career. Unlike many of her previous opponents, McMann had the grappling credentials to hang with Rousey's Olympic background. McMann was a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Games in freestyle wrestling.
However, Rousey's extensive judo background, which includes a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, proved to be enough to earn the victory.
Perhaps even more impressive was that she tied the record for shortest time between title defenses by taking on McMann just 56 days after defeating Miesha Tate at UFC 168.
The loss is a disappointing one for McMann, but it is by no means the end to her career. With just eight fights to her name and a 7-1 record, it's conceivable that she could be right back in the title picture again if she comes back stronger from this loss.
With Georges St-Pierre retired and Anderson Silva recently losing his rematch to Chris Weidman, the UFC needed Rousey to prove that she could be the kind of dominant champion who draws in fans.
That's exactly what she did on Saturday night by defeating one of the most highly qualified contenders she will see in the UFC.