The UFC surprised fans with the announcement that Sara McMann would be getting the next crack at Ronda Rousey’s UFC title, leaping ahead of #1 contender Cat Zingano and #3 Alexis Davis.
No specific reason was given for the decision, but it’s hard to argue with McMann’s credentials.
An Olympic silver medalist and 8-0 MMA fighter, McMann is poised to bring a level of grappling acumen to the fight that Rousey has arguably never seen before.
In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, she stated that she wasn’t surprised at all by the title shot, and is ready to go.
“I’m a professional fighter, so this is what I’ve been working toward the entire time,” she said.
McMann is already assessing her upcoming opponent. While she complimented both Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate’s performances in the past fight, McMann notes that both of them made mistakes.
“Both girls did some things very well,” McMann said. “Both girls obviously made mistakes, like every fight you ever see. There’s no time that any of us go out there and don’t reveal something. Even if Miesha couldn’t exploit it, she revealed it.”
She also noted that her strength is in her grappling, and she’s prepared to exploit any holes in Rousey’s ground game.
“If it were somebody that were making minute technical errors in striking, I would have a harder time exploiting it considering my background. But when people make a grappling error, I’m in a great position.”
“I’m just going to prepare for anything that could possibly happen, something that would throw me off my game or get inside my head,” she concluded.
Win or lose, McMann and Rousey will be making UFC history as they participate in the first bout between two Olympic medalists. They’ll meet at UFC 170 on February 22 for the women’s bantamweight championship.