After eight submissions, Ronda Rousey got her first TKO on Saturday. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The knee that Ronda Rousey used to finish Sara McMann at UFC 170 was no fluke.
After stopping her fellow Olympian in the first round, Rousey told the media of a promise she made to her coach: that she would put McMann on the deck with a body shot.
“We trained [attacking the body] a lot, and it was just a goal I had in this fight,” Rousey said at the post-fight press conference from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. “I don’t like calling it to the media or anyone else, like, ‘I’m going to knock this person out.’ I like to keep my mind open to whatever opportunity is there, but to my coach, I promised him I would really try. I’m happy I could do that for him tonight.”
Rousey and McMann traded hard shots to start the UFC women’s bantamweight title tilt and then battled in the clinch. “Rowdy” gained the upper hand and pressed her challenger against the cage, drilling McMann with continual knees to the ribs, the last of which forced McMann to drop to all fours.
Referee Herb Dean quickly stepped in and halted the contest after Rousey landed several punches to the head of McMann, who was attempting to get back to her feet just as the bout was waved off.
“I didn’t think [the stoppage] was too soon. I would have kept going if someone didn’t stop me, but that’s not my decision,” said Rousey. “That’s why we have a referee in there, to make sure that no one gets hurt more than they need to.”
With her third consecutive title defense now behind her, Rousey will continue to balance her obligations to the UFC with her budding career as an actress.
“I always tell Dana [White] that I will fight on 24 hours’ notice, whenever he needs me,” said Rousey. “I’m filming ‘Entourage’ in the middle of March and then ‘Expendables 3’ comes out in August. I usually have a hard time staying away from the gym. I get bored within a couple of weeks. Late summer seems like kind of a cool time, but I might want to fight sooner than that.”
While it is currently unknown whom Rousey will face next, the champion mentioned two fighters in particular she believes are worthy of the opportunity.
“I think Cat Zingano really deserves to fight for the title at some point, but she’s still coming back from her injury,” said Rousey. “I thought Alexis Davis did an amazing job tonight, but it’s up to the UFC.”