Sara McMann is the next UFC women's title challenger. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Ronda Rousey will return to the Octagon in short order for her next title defense, as the UFC women’s bantamweight queen is set to headline UFC 170 opposite Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann.
UFC President Dana White announced the booking Saturday night following Rousey’s UFC 168 victory over Miesha Tate at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Prior to the announcement, injured No. 1 contender Cat Zingano was expected to receive the next shot at Rousey’s strap, but that plan has now been changed given Rousey’s quick turnaround.
UFC 170 takes place Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and was initially topped by Daniel Cormier’s light heavyweight debut against former champion Rashad Evans. That bout will now slide into the co-main event slot to make room for Rousey’s next title defense. Rousey was forced out of the first round for the first time in her career on Saturday night, but the champion nevertheless walked away with her eighth consecutive submission win after catching Tate in a third-round armbar. An Olympic bronze medalist in judo, Rousey has never tasted defeat in MMA and kicked off 2013 by submitting Liz Carmouche in the UFC 157 main event.
McMann, meanwhile, made her Octagon debut in April, pounding out German striker Sheila Gaff to pick up her seventh straight victory. The 33-year-old freestyle wrestling ace began her career in 2011, fighting twice under the short-lived ProElite banner before joining the Invicta Fighting Championships, where she outpointed Shayna Baszler in a unanimous verdict last year.