On Saturday night, Ronda Rousey defeated Sara McMann, keeping her bantamweight title, after kneeing her opponent in the liver 66 seconds into the fight.
The main event took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas in front of more than 10,000 fans, many of whom booed the 27-year old during the post-fight interview.
“I didn’t think it was too soon,” Rousey said, even though McMann seemed hurt. “Obviously, that’s why we have a referee in there. I just went to that spot.”
According to Yahoo News, Rousey was also booed after her last title fight against Meisha Tate, whom she refused to shake hands with after their face-off in December.
33-year old McMann, an Olympic wrestling silver medalist, was billed as Rousey’s most difficult challenger, yet Saturday night’s much-anticipated UFC fight was shorter than expected.
“Looking back, it seems kind of quick,” McMann said. “I should get up quicker. If you want to win fights, you have to get up quicker. When I hit the ground, I got my bearings back. When I heard his voice, I was reaching for a leg.”
The battle began with McMann entering the arena with a T-shirt that read “ETG,” which stands for Embrace the Grind. Rousey followed, mean-mugging the area in front of her.
The two took the center for instructions from referee Herb Dean, touched gloves, and then immediately began to brawl, McMann getting in a nice right blow. Rousey then began to attack with her knees and with a vicious blow to her mid-section, McMann crumbled. Rousey threw a few more shots at her to finish, but when McMann didn’t react, Dean stopped the fight. TKO at 1:06 in Round One.
“If she doesn’t make a move to protect herself, how long do I wait until I stop it?” Dean said. “I don’t know how big of a knee it was, because I didn’t take it, but she was just holding her midsection and after a while, I had to stop it.”
“I promised my coach this time that I was going to drop her with a body shot,” Rousey said. “I called it. We’ve been training it a lot and it’s just a goal that I had. I don’t like calling it or saying it to anyone else, like the media, because I like to keep my mind open to whatever’s there. But to my coach, I promised him I was really going to try.”
McMann was gracious in her defeat, though she was obviously disappointed.
“Things were slowed down in my head,” McMann said at a news conference. “I felt it connect and my body just moved to protect itself. I heard [Dean’s] voice and I immediately tried to get back up. I’m not going to blame the referee for something I feel I should be able to control.”
She added, “I should have gotten up quicker. If you want to win fights, you just have to do it regardless of what is going on.”
Ronda Rousey is not only getting better each time she fights, but is also stepping into Hollywood, currently filming The Expendables 3, her first role in a major motion picture.
Ronda Rousey will show championship form in Expendables 3! So will multi hampion Victor Ortiz!
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) July 24, 2013
She will also be appearing in Fast & Furious 7 with Dwayne Johnson.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 9, 2013
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