LAS VEGAS – Saturday night’s UFC 170 headliner features a historic matchup between a pair of Olympic medalists. With two accomplished athletes clashing in the octagon, UFC champ Ronda Rousey believes desire will give her the edge over challenger Sara McMann.
“On paper, she’s an amazing athlete, and athletically you could say we’re very close to equals, and that’s why people are so excited about this fight,” Rousey told USA TODAY Sports. “But I think that I’m more of a fighter than she is.”
Rousey (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and McMann (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meet in the main event of UFC 170, which takes place Saturday at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center. The five-fight main-card, including the Rousey vs. McMann headliner, airs on pay-per-view.
Rousey, a former Olympic judo bronze medalist, looks to defend her UFC women’s bantamweight belt for the third time. Meanwhile, McMann, who earned an Olympic silver in wrestling, fights for the second time under the UFC banner and looks to take the belt away from “Rowdy” Rousey, who has been called the “biggest star in the sport” by no less than UFC President Dana White.
On paper, the bout could prove to be the most difficult test of Rousey’s career to date. But the fiery champion, who has long made lifestyle sacrifices to compete at the highest level of her chosen athletic field, believes McMann – one of a select few mothers on the UFC roster – can’t possibly be willing to pay the same price Rousey is in order to hold the belt.
“I can tell that this title is not as important to her as it is to me,” Rousey said. “She has a kid at home, and she has to go home to that kid. I can afford to be selfish, where she can’t. I’m willing to die in there, and she can’t.”
For the latest on UFC 170, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.