Ever wondered what happens when an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling takes on an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo? Apparently the brass over at the UFC wondered also, as they put Sara McMann in the octagon against UFC women’s bantam weight champion Ronda Rousey. This was to be the grappling match that dreams are made of, wrought with tons of huge take downs, throws, and ground game for the highlight reels for years to come. However, Ms. Rousey apparently did not get that memo as she tore through the 2004 silver medalist in just a little over a minute, using absolutely no grappling at all. Rousey landed a huge standing elbow to McMann and followed it up with a knee to the midsection that absolutely disintegrated her. As McMann crumpled to the ground in anguish, Rousey came in to land a few parting shots and referee Herb Dean had no choice, but to step in and call an end to it.
Now, while I don’t normally start reviews with the main event of the evening, I felt this is a very important moment in the current state of events in the UFC. Ronda Rousey has gone undefeated in her mma career, winning all of her first eight fights via armbar, and all but one of those was in the first round. Now we get to see that this girl can strike effectively also. The pool of deserving title contenders is dwindling in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, and I really don’t know who is going to want a shot now that the arguably most proficient grappler in the UFC is now taking people out with her striking.
Winner via being a badass: Ronda Rousey
The night started out with striker Stephen Thompson taking on Robert Whittaker in the welterweight division. Neither one of these guys wanted anything to do with the feeling out process, as they both went right to work. Thompson came out throwing his signature karate kicks, while Whittaker started working his jab. A little past the halfway mark in the first round, Thompson wobbled with an awesome one-two ,and immediately followed it up with a huge right that ended the fight.
Winner via TKO: Stephen Thompson
Next up in the welterweight division, we saw veteran Mike Pyle take on TJ Waldburger. This was a fight with a lot on the line for both fighters. Pyle who was coming in from a devastating, KO loss to Matt Brown and Waldburger was coming in off of a seemingly never ending string of losses, and we all now what the UFC does to fighters that don’t produce.
Waldburger started out the fight with some combos, and leg kicks, but every time he did, Pyle would answer with his own. The fight stayed at a pretty even pace. That is until the third round, when apparently Mike Pyle had had enough. The thirty eight year old absolutely unleashed on Waldburger with a myriad of attacks including a spinning elbow and some knees. Eventually he took Waldburger down and had a guillotine choke applied. TJ was able to slip out of the choke, but unfortunately for him, that’s what allowed Pyle to unload with a ground and pound barrage that ultimately ended the fight.
Winner via TKO Mike Pyle
After that, we stayed in the welterweight division for another fight to see Rory MacDonald take on Demian Maia in an all out war. Maia started out immediately going for take downs until he was able to secure a single leg and put MacDonald on his back, and continuing with a great combination of punches and huge elbows from the mount. MacDonald was eventually able to slip out from the mount and get back to his feet, where the two traded strikes for the remainder of the round. Maia looked a little tired in the second and Macdonald was able to capitalize on this and find his stride as he started picking apart Maia with strikes. This continued into the third round until Maia was able to land a slam and put the fight back where he wanted it. He secured the mount and began raining down strikes on MacDonald. MacDonald was able to slip the mount again and get the fight back to their feet, where he continued to strike effectively until the final bell.
Winner via unanimous decision: Rory MacDonald
Finally, we got out of the lightweight division and moved up to light heavyweight as Patrick Cummins was given a shot to break into the UFC elite against Daniel Cormier. In my opinion, Cummins had no business being in the ring with Cormier, as he had not earned it. Cormier has gone undefeated in his mma career with victories over huge names like Bigfoot Silva, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Josh Barnett. Cummins has beaten a couple of nobodies, and has never stepped into the octagon before. He was, however, Cormier’s Olympic training partner and made enough disparaging remarks about Cormier to get him put directly where he never should have been. Straight across the octagon from Cormier. Cormier was visibly pissed about the comments his former training partner made and wasted no time proving it. He mauled the newcomer like a polar bear for a minute and nineteen seconds, until it was all over. Cormier can now go back to concentrate on working his way up the rankings and Cummins can work on getting the number of the train that hit him.
Winner via hitting a loud mouth like a freight train: Daniel Cormier
Preliminary Fight Card Results:
Ernest Chavez def. Yosdenis Cedeno via split decision
Erik Koch def. Rafaello Oliveira via TKO
Zach Makovsky def. Josh Sampo via unanimous decision
Aljamain Sterling def. Cody Gibson via unanimous decision
Raphael Assuncao def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision
Alexis Davis def. Jessica Eye via Split decision
Post Fight Honors:
Fight of the Night: Demian Maia and Rory Macdonald
Performance of the Night: Ronda Rousey and Stephen Thompson