Tonight the UFC presents UFC 170 and for only the second time in the history of the organization they will have a pay-per-view event headlined by two women fighters. While the unbeaten record of both champion and challenger is enough to sell the fight on its own, there is actually a pretty interesting spin on this bout. For the first time in the UFC two individuals who have earned medals in the Olympics will headline a UFC event. On one side you have the challenger Sara McMann who won the Silver medal in Wrestling at the 2004 Olympics. Across the cage will be the champion Ronda Rousey who won the Bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympics. Both have taken their Olympic backgrounds and transitioned them into their strengths within their MMA careers. What could be interesting is there is potential for their skills to cancel themselves out.
UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell was known for using what people deemed to be “reverse wrestling”, in the sense that he used his wrestling abilities to keep the fight standing. While McMann’s background is going to make her want to take the fight to the ground she may be best suited to do the opposite. With Rousey’s strategy being to ultimately get the fight to the ground and go for the armbar McMann taking the fight to the ground may just play right into Ronda’s plan. That’s what makes moves like arm bars and triangle chokes so dangerous, the ability to threaten with them from your back. That’s not to say McMann is a pushover in the grappling department, because as a medalist in multiple grappling tournaments she may actually be one of the biggest threats Rousey has encountered with regards to ability on the ground. Still it would seem that perhaps the best offense may be a good defense in this case. If anything shoot for the takedown late in the round and try and secure the points if the rounds are close. Of course the flip side of that is being a high level Judo practitioner Ronda isn’t going to be easy to take off her feet. Needless to say the end result should make for a good fight.
The co-main event also features someone with an Olympic pedigree. Unfortunately for Daniel Cormier a bad weight cut prevented him from being able to participate and the favorite to win the Gold in wrestling became a story of “what could have been.” For his first fight at 205 lbs Cormier didn’t want to repeat such an ordeal and did so with the extended help of a diet and nutritionist. Though the careful planning was almost all for nothing when original opponent Rashad Evans went down with an injury. Cue fill-in opponent and former Collegiate wrestling standout Patrick Cummins. Cummins has a history with Cormier as he was brought in as a guy to help train Cormier train for the Olympics. What makes this fight interesting though is the fact that Patrick has nothing to lose and everything to gain, while the reverse rings true for Cormier. A win for “DC” doesn’t really move him any closer to a shot at Jon Jones but a loss could be devastating. For Cummins a win would certainly land him a long term gig and could propel him to a top ten position. Cummins has also clearly gotten under Cormier’s skin with his claim that he “broke” Cormier in training and made him cry, a claim that he denies but also has fired him up more than I’ve ever seen. While Daniel should by all means be able to handle Cummins easily on paper, the prospect for a “Rocky” moment is always an intriguing one.
Also of note on the Pay-Per-View is a fight between Welterweight contenders Demian Maia and Rory MacDonald. Both are looking to get back in the win column following disappointing outings in their last fights. Rory has long been thought to be the successor to GSP but seems to have lost that same killer instinct that he approached past fights with and it cost him in his decision loss to Robbie Lawler who now finds himself fighting for the title. Maia was potentially one fight away from a title shot himself after looking unbeatable in the division before losing to Jake Shields in Brazil. This fight could still very well have title implications though as a statement win for Rory could still beat him in the title hunt. To do so though he’ll need to do his best to keep the always dangerous Maia from dragging MacDonald into a grappling contest.
Main Card (Live on Pay-Per-View 10PM EST)
- Ronda Rousey (c) (8-0-0) vs #4 Sara McMann (7-0-0) Women’s Bantamweight Championship
- Daniel Cormier (13-0-0) vs Patrick Cummins (4-0-0) Light Heavyweight Bout
- #4 Rory MacDonald (15-2-0) vs #6 Demian Maia (18-5-0) Welterweight Bout
- #15 Mike Pyle (25-9-1) vs TJ Waldburger (16-8-0) Welterweight Bout
- Robert Whittaker (12-3-0) vs Stephen Thompson (8-1-0) Welterweight Bout
Preliminary Card (Live on Fox Sports 1 8PM EST)
- #3 Alexis Davis (15-5-0) vs #5 Jessica Eye (11-1-0) Bantamweight Bout
- #3 Raphael Assuncao (20-4-0) vs Pedro Munhoz (10-0-0) Bantamweight Bout
- Cody Gibson (11-3-0) vs Aljamain Sterling (8-0-0) Bantamweight Bout
- #10 Zach Makovsky (17-4-0) vs Josh Sampo (11-2-0) Flyweight Bout
Fight Pass Preliminary Card (Live on UFC Fight Pass 7PM EST)
- Rafaello Oliveira (15-6-0) vs Erik Koch (13-3-0) Lightweight Bout
- Ernest Chavez (7-0-0) vs Yosdenis Cedeno (9-2-0) Lightweight Bout
SLEEPER OF THE NIGHT: Alexis Davis vs Jessica Eye. Both girls bring it and pending Cat Zingano’s status this could determine the next title contender.
Check back as the fights begin for live results.
- Ernest Chavez defeats Yosdenis Cedeno via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Erik Koch defeats Rafaello Oliveira via TKO at 1:24 of Round 1
- Zach Makovsky defeats Josh Sampo via Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,29-28)
- Aljamain Sterling defeats Cody Gibson via Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
- Raphael Assuncao defeats Pedro Munhoz via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alexis Davis defeats Jessica Eye via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28,29-28)
- Stephen Thompson defeats Robert Whittaker via TKO at 3:43 of Round 1
- Mike Pyle defeats TJ Waldburger via TKO at 4:03 of Round 3
- Rory MacDonald defeats Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Daniel Cormier defeats Patrick Cummins via TKO at 1:19 of Round 1
- Ronda Rousey defeats Sara McMann via TKO 1:06 of Round 1
Post Fight Award Bonuses:
- Fight of the Night – Rory MacDonald vs Demian Maia
- Performance of the Night #1 – Ronda Rousey
- Performance of the Night #2 – Stephen Thompson