411's MMA Roundtable Preview - UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann
Posted by Dan Plunkett on 02.21.2014
Ronda Rousey fights Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170! Plus Pat Cummins seeks one of the biggest upsets in MMA history against Daniel Cormier and more! Check out the full roundtable for all the details and join 411 for LIVE coverage of the event Saturday night!
Ronda Rousey makes her second title defense in two months when she fights Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170! In the co-main event, Pat Cummins looks to score one of the biggest upsets in MMA history against Daniel Cormier. At welterweight, Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia fight to get back in the win column. Plus, Mike Pyle battles TJ Waldburger, Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson, and more!
From What's Next, Robert Practor!
He's 411's resident interviewer, Jon Butterfield!
From MMA's 3R's, Jeffrey Harris!
From Five Quick Rounds, Evan Zivin!
He's the new guy from The Round Horn, Koeddy Laemmle!
From Forgotten Fights, Paul Lapointe!
From the Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report, Robert Winfree!
THE PRELIMINARY CARD:
First two prelims to air UFC Fight Pass, rest on Fox Sports 1.
Lightweight Bout: Ernest Chavez vs. Yosdenis Cedeno
Robert Practor: Yosdenis Cedeno, Decision Jon Butterfield: Yosdenis Cedeno, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Ernest Chavez, Decision Evan Zivin: Ernest Chavez, TKO, Round 3 Koeddy Laemmle: Yosdenis Cedeno, Decision Paul Lapointe: Cedeno, (Prelim mandate) Decision, RD3 Robert Winfree: Yosdenis Cedeno, Decision The staff picks Yosdenis Cedeno, 5-2.
Lightweight Bout: Rafaello Oliveira vs. Erik Koch
Robert Practor: Erik Koch, Decision Jon Butterfield: Erik Koch, TKO, Round Three Jeffrey Harris: Erik Koch, TKO, Round 1 Evan Zivin: Erik Koch, TKO, Round 1 Koeddy Laemmle: Erik Koch, TKO, RD 2 Paul Lapointe: Koch(Head), TKO, RD2 Robert Winfree: Erik Koch, TKO Round 2 The staff picks Erik Koch, 7-0.
Flyweight Bout: Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
Robert Practor: Zach Makovsky, Decision Jon Butterfield: Zach Makovsky, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Zach Makovsky, Decision Evan Zivin: Zach Makovsky, Decision Koeddy Laemmle: Josh Sampo, Decision Paul Lapointe: Fun Size, Decision, RD3 Robert Winfree: Zach Makovsky, Decision The staff picks Zach Makovsky, 6-1.
Bantamweight Bout: Cody Gibson vs. Aljamain Sterling
Robert Practor: Aljamain Sterling, Submission Jon Butterfield: Aljamain Sterling, Submission, Round Three Jeffrey Harris: Cody Gibson, Submission Evan Zivin: Aljamain Sterling, Submission, Round 2 Koeddy Laemmle: Cody Gibson, Submission, RD 3 Paul Lapointe: Sterling Silver, Submission, RD2 Robert Winfree: Aljamain Sterling, Submission Round 2 The staff picks Aljamain Sterling, 5-2.
Bantamweight Bout: Raphael Assuncao vs. Pedro Munhoz
Robert Practor: Raphael Assuncao, Submission, Round 2 Jon Butterfield: Raphael Assuncao, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Raphael Assuncao, Submission, Round 2 Evan Zivin: Raphael Assuncao, Decision Koeddy Laemmle: Raphael Assuncao, Submission, RD 1 Paul Lapointe: TMNT Raphael, Decision, RD3 Robert Winfree: Raphael Assuncao, Decision The staff picks Raphael Assuncao, 7-0.
Women's Bantamweight Bout: Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye
Robert Practor: Alexis Davis, Decision Jon Butterfield: Jessica Eye, Decision Jeffrey Harris: Alexis Davis, Decision Evan Zivin: Alexis Davis, Decision Koeddy Laemmle: Jessica Eye, Decision Paul Lapointe: Canadian Davis, Decision, RD3 Robert Winfree: Alexis Davis, Decision The staff picks Alexis Davis, 5-2.
THE MAIN CARD:
Welterweight Bout: Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson
Robert Practor: Both men have a ceiling in the middle of the pack but I believe Thompson's is a bit higher. I see Thompson getting the better of the striking exchanges in a tentative fight and picking up the decision victory.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, Decision
Jon Butterfield: Robert Whittaker is a decent enough striker, but not on the same level as Stephen Thompson in that regard. Having said that, Thompson was schooled by Matt Brown, and really lacks the all-round game to be a major contender just yet. If Whittaker is smart, he changes levels often and really looks to throw Thompson off his rhythm, doing most of his damage on the mat but I kind of doubt he's going to look for anything other than a KO, thus getting KO'd himself.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, KO, Round Two
Jeffrey Harris: Both fighters are decent prospects and both have some good striking skills. So they should match up well together to make for an exciting fight. Thompson has made improvements in his game and has looked a lot better in his recent fights since his loss to Matt Brown. I'm leaning toward him to put Whittaker away for the win.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, TKO, Round 2
Evan Zivin: Whittaker, The TUF Smashes Welterweight winner, has had an okay UFC career since winning the show, defeating Colton Smith by TKO and losing a controversial split decision to Court McGee last August. Thompson is on a two-fight win streak, last winning by TKO against Chris Clements at UFC 165. Both men are primarily strikers, with Thompson having the stronger credentials due to his kickboxing career. I'm not expecting a lot from this fight. Thompson will look to finish but Whittaker will not make that easy. I have a feeling Whittaker could do enough to take a close decision but I'll give the edge to Thompson.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, Decision
Koeddy Laemmle: Robert Whittaker is a tough fighter and I believe this will be a close fight in the standup. However, "Wonderboy" will use his superior ground skills to edge out the decision victory.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, Decision
Paul Lapointe: People rejoice a good old fashioned slobber knocker is on hand. Sure alot of peeps were wide eyed and confused as to why in heaven was this bout getting PPV placement over so many better or relavent fights and the simple answer is, they are going to stand and bang. Dana likes his stand and bang. In all seriousness though Whitaker is young and learning and has fundamental kickboxing skills that he likes to implement to control the tempo of the fight. Wonderboy is a phenom kickboxer no questions asked and if he can keep distance and whether any kind of storm presented his kicks trump the Aussies fist. Funny thing though is Rob has a hard head and I can't see him being finished anyhow. Should be fun.
Winner: Wonderboy, Decision, RD3
Robert Winfree: This is a pretty solid choice for the PPV opening fight. Both Whittaker and Thompson are striking based fighters and both men are fairly active as well so we're unlikely to get a staring contest. Whittaker is a boxing based striker while Thompson has an undefeated kickboxing record. I think we get a fun, but cautious first round as both men look to get the distance and timing down. In the second, I think Whittaker get's caught with a head kick that he doesn't see coming.
Winner: Stephen Thompson, TKO Round 2
The staff picks Stephen Thompson, 7-0.
Welterweight Bout: Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger
Robert Practor: This could end up being a fun fight on the ground but I am going to predict Pyle finding the knockout late in the fight.
Winner: Mike Pyle, TKO, Round 3
Jon Butterfield: Mike Pyle was derailed by Matt Brown last time out, but make no mistake, he's a solid UFC veteran who presents numerous problems for lower-level fighters. Waldburger is a good submission artist, but the best fighter he ever submitted was Brian Foster, and that was in 2006. Pyle has a stifling ground game himself, and will readily defend himself against anything TJ Waldburger can throw his way, so that leaves the most likely outcome a (T)KO, and with Waldburger having been KO'd 6 times in his pro career, and with Pyle rattling off three of his last four wins by that method, the numbers definitely favour Quicksand'.
Winner: Mike Pyle, TKO, Round One
Jeffrey Harris: This is a good chance to see whether or not Pyle was just reaching his peak as a fighter in his last bout or if at 38 he can still make another decent run of it. Overall, Pyle has the much better skill set. Waldburger is a decent talent and has picked up some wins in the UFC, but he's more or less been a mid-level welterweight. Pyle has the better overall striking and grappling skills, so I think he will pull off the knockout or a submission to win this.
Winner: Mike Pyle, Submission, Round 2
Evan Zivin: This is a Payperview main card fight? Well all right. Both men are entering this fight off of first round knockout losses, Pyle to Matt Brown and Waldburger to Adlan Amagov. Pyle is one of those fighters who has shown moments of brilliance in his MMA career but has never been able to put things together when it comes to ranked weltweweights. Waldburger isn't ranked, so is Pyle likely to win this fight? I think so. Both men have strong submission games so you know what that means: SLOPPY KICKBOXING MATCH!!! Pyle has the stronger striking game. That, along with TJ's 6 (T)KO losses, means that there is hopefully at least one fight on this card that is getting finished.
Winner: Mike Pyle, TKO, Round 2
Koeddy Laemmle: This is a pretty good matchup in all faucets of MMA. Pyle has the slight advantage on the feet and Waldburger the slight advantage on the ground. I think Pyle will be winning the fight early on but will get caught off guard by an armbar.
Winner: TJ Waldburger, Submission, RD 2
Paul Lapointe: Mike Pyle is in do or die mode and I mean that literally. He is a late bloomer on the big stage at 38 and is on the last fight of his current contract so he not only needs this he NEEDS this! TJ is a very savvy ground guy but is a little uneven when it remains standing as evident by his wishy washy record. So if Pyle is any kind of Wily a veteran as he claims to be with that mullet he should try to keep it standing and light that firecracker of a chin Waldburger has. Sayonara!
Winner: Old Man River, KO, RD2
Robert Winfree: This would be a fun grappling contest, both men are accomplished grapplers, but we get striking as well so I'm cautiously optimistic about this one. I think Pyle has better striking, and is good on the ground as well. I think Pyle get's the win here, likely with strikes as Waldburger is trying to get a takedown.
Winner: Mike Pyle, TKO Round 2
The staff picks Mike Pyle, 6-1.
Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Robert Practor: I have been vocal in not being as high on Rory MacDonald as others in the past and I continue to feel that way heading into this fight. MacDonald could employ a smart, safe game-plan and control the pace on the feet but I see Maia being able to get him down and keep him there through the better part of at least two rounds, earning himself the decision.
Winner: Demian Maia, Decision
Jon Butterfield: While Maia is a high-level competitor, it seems like wishful thinking to pick him here. Rory MacDonald is a phenomenally talented fighter who has disappointed with his tactics in his last few fights, but that hasn't prevented him from beating some of the best of the best. Just because MacDonald doesn't fight to please the crowd doesn't mean he isn't an elite fighter, and while Maia is a likeable contender, his world glass grappling just isn't likely to factor too often here. Maia is a great takedown artist, no question, and he's taken outstanding wrestlers down in the past, but MacDonald isn't just a tough guy to get hold of, he's a tough guy to even get close to. MacDonald should pick Maia apart from the outside, and if he stuns Maia on the feet, he'll finish on the ground with his nasty ground and pound. I just hope that should MacDonald win, he also wins back some fans, because he is legit.
Winner: Rory MacDonald, TKO, Round Three
Jeffrey Harris: At one time it looked like Rory MacDonald was going to be the next big thing of the welterweight division, but he hasn't shown that spark in the Octagon that made him such an exciting prospect in the Octagon in quite some time. He got a high-profile gimme win against an aging, out-of-shape, and undersized BJ Penn. After that, he had back-to-back garbage performances against Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler. He lost the Lawler fight, and now Lawler is fighting for the UFC welterweight title instead of him. Perhaps MacDonald was sabotaging himself over anxiety of dealing with his friend and training partner, Georges St-Pierre being on top and being champion. Now that's not the case anymore, so maybe his mindset has changed. At the same time, MacDonald in his recent fights looks like he's reached a ceiling under Firas Zahabi and Tristar. He spoke about not having the fire in his recent fights despite having such a high ranking and being in high profile fights. If he can't get up for his recent fights, I'm still not convinced he's got the fire back to take it to Demian Maia. MacDonald has some solid grappling skills, but he's not a huge threat off of his back with submissions like Maia is. MacDonald is probably a better striker, but Maia is still a guy that was able to beat the likes of Jon Fitch at his own game. I'm predicting Maia gets the win and the upset here.
Winner: Demian Maia, Decision
Evan Zivin: How interesting it is that people aren't as quick to give Rory MacDonald the edge this time around like they did for his last fight. It is understandable, as his loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 was a disappointing performance for the young Canadian. A lot has changed since that fight, though, namely UFC Welterweight Champion (and Rory's training partner) Georges St-Pierre vacating his title. This means there is nothing preventing Rory from going after the belt, which has likely given him a huge boost to his motivation and confidence. This fight could almost be a title eliminator, depending on how things go at UFC 171, so I'm sure Rory will be on his game, which I think should be enough to control the ever-evolving Maia. SHOULD be. I'll give Rory one more chance before calling him a bust.
Winner: Rory MacDonald, Decision
Koeddy Laemmle: In MacDonald's first fight since GSP retired I expect him to fight for the win and not the finish. I expect him to use his reach advantage (something Maia usually has at Welterweight) to keep Maia from ever really getting anything going.
Winner: Rory MacDonald, Decision
Paul Lapointe: Oh Rory, Rory, where art thee? You of the safe gameplan and thy overhype, you must seize thy opportunity like said day and plant thy flag damnit! Seriously kid you have so much talent but you are so safe that it boggles my mind really. Now I like Maia like nobodies business but if Rory is the new GSP like he was supposed to be he needs to make a statement. If he uses his striking I say he does Maia but the ground is a different ball game.
Winner: Rory, TKO, RD3
Robert Winfree: This is a very important fight for Rory MacDonald. He's coming off of not only a loss, but a very disappointing performance in his fight with Robby Lawler. Maia is coming off of a loss to Jake Shields, but MacDonald is the one who really needs an impressive victory after the loss and back to back questionable performances. MacDonald might have been holding something back when his friend Georges St-Pierre was champion, if that's the case that excuse is gone as GSP has stepped away from MMA. This is going to be a telling fight, but I think MacDonald has what it takes to win. Rory will likely try to keep this standing, and his striking is much better than Maia's. If Maia winds up on bottom he could be in trouble, because Rory has some serious ground and pound to his credit. I just think MacDonald comes into this fight with a fire and free of distracting thoughts.
Winner: Rory MacDonald, Decision
The staff picks Rory MacDonald, 5-2.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins
Robert Practor: I applaud the UFC for keeping Daniel Cormier on this card like he literally begged for. The cut down to Light Heavyweight has surely been tough for him and it would have been a shame to see it all be for nothing if he was removed less than two weeks before the fight. The UFC could have waited another month or two and slotted him against an actual ranked Light Heavyweight like Phil Davis (before booking him against the returning Anthony Johnson) or Little Nog, but since there's no clear fight that should be made, there's no harm in keeping Cormier's name and relative star-power on the card and have him get his first LHW bout under his belt. They have found a nice little story to put behind this fight and Cummins has done his job well, but the only question I have is how Cormier will perform at LHW. Will he be faster and more explosive or will he look lethargic while pinning the rookie against the fence for the entire fight? I hope it's the former and we see DC look like a dangerous LHW fighter. He can then face the winner of Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson and, with a victory there, be looking at a title fight near the end of the year.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, TKO, Round 1
Jon Butterfield: Well the stories circulating about Cummins breaking Cormier in training certainly add something to this bout, but not much. This fight is all about Cormier's drop to 205 lbs and his desire to get his divisional debut out of the way no matter who he has to fight. Cummins is an unknown quantity, meaning he could be great, but could be awful but more likely he's somewhere between the two, given his supposed wrestling acumen. The thing is, though, Cormier is more than just a wrestler now, and he's had far longer to adapt to MMA than Cummins has had and he's fought at a much, much higher level. While I'd expect Cormier to finish by standing Cummins up, anything Cummins can achieve beyond a first round KO loss is a bonus for him going forward.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, KO, Round One
Jeffrey Harris: Props to all involved for making this fight happen. Cormier begged for a matchup, and no one else was willing to step up on nine days notice except for Cummins. Doubt Phil Davis or Anthony Johnson would've taken this fight. The difficult thing to breakdown here is Cormier's first fight at light heavyweight and being able to make a successful weight cut. That being said, Cormier's has given every indication he's been dieting and training smart and taking off the weight gradually rather than all at once. Against Roy Nelson, he came in at 225 lbs. and that was in October. So Cormier being the athlete he is, I expect him to be doing things the right way and cutting his weight carefully having learned from his experience in the Olympics. Cummins is undefeated and a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, but he's only had four professional MMA fights and this is his UFC debut. With all that in mind, I just see now way he can topple a challenge like Cormier.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, TKO, Round 2
Evan Zivin: Well, Daniel, you said you wanted to fight on Saturday. It isn't Rashad but it's better than nothing, right? I'll admit I've been quite amused by the story of Cummins beating Cormier in a wrestling match and making him cry but, aside from understanding that took place within the emotional pressure cooker that is the Olympic wrestling tryouts (it also wasn't too far removed from the death of his daughter), that was 10 years ago and has absolutely nothing to do with where these men stand today. After having a fairly successful career as an Olympic wrestler, Cormier developed a powerful striking game to become a dangerous all-around fighter. He was able to control Frank Mir and Roy Nelson at heavyweight so he shouldn't have any trouble dealing with Cummins at 205. Yes, Cummins is undefeated in his MMA career, just like Cormier, but his last opponent had a 5-15-1 record. He also hasn't fought since last May. That level of inactivity is not going to help him against a man who may only be one fight away from a title shot. I hope Cummins makes the most of this opportunity but I think it's going to be Cormier making him cry this time around.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, TKO, Round 2
Koeddy Laemmle: Kudos to Cummins for taking the fight on such short notice but Cormier is going to dominate what I expect to be a pretty boring fight. The bigger question revolves around whether Cormier will make weight or not.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, Decision
Paul Lapointe: Insert somebody who has fallen for hype here. Any takers? No. Well thems the breaks.
Winner: DC,Submission, RD2
Robert Winfree: Throwing Daniel Cormier into the deep end of the pool at light heavyweight against former champion Rashad Evans was interesting, it posed some really interesting questions. Well, Rashad Evans got injured and now we've got a virtual nobody against a guy who was one of the top three fighters at heavyweight. If Cormier doesn't beat this guy, and quickly, he'll have to do some evaluation about making the cut down because if this were a heavyweight fight it wouldn't last five minutes.
Winner: Daniel Cormier, TKO Round 1
The staff picks Daniel Cormier, 7-0.
UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship Bout: Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
Robert Practor: This fight could have been marketed so much better. Two Olympians facing off against each other in the midst of the Olympics currently going on makes it all too easy of a sell, yet I have just felt underwhelmed with the promotion of this fight. Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones really need to have everything the UFC has thrown behind them right now and I just shake my head when I see the lackadaisical attitude the company appears to have in regards to really making some new superstars. That issue aside, despite having an obviously strong wrestling game, I don't see McMann having all that much success here. Rousey should continue her dominance with another armbar victory.
Winner: Ronda Rousey, Submission, Round 1
Jon Butterfield: The idea that Ronda Rousey will beat Sara McMann by first round armbar borders on ludicrous. Rousey is an absolute beast from top position, and thus far, she's been able to get top position with very little trouble. From there, she has a whole arsenal of tools, mostly tailored towards armbar submissions, but let's be serious Rousey isn't going to get top position on Sara McMann from anything other than a scramble or a knockdown, at least until (if) McMann tires. Rousey was able to hip-reverse a number of Miesha Tate's takedowns in her last bout, which should be of interest here, but that fight showed that when an opponent adjusts for Rousey's major strengths, Rousey really isn't as irresistible as is often made out in the media and McMann isn't likely to get hip-reversed because her wrestling is light years ahead of Miesha Tate's.
Perhaps in preparation for this, the Rousey self-hype machine has dubbed her striking the best in the business' but is it really? Against Tate, Rousey's striking looked about average, and while McMann isn't exactly great in this area either, she should more than hold her own. In other words, I find it hard to imagine that Rousey will score a knockdown. Points, maybe, but a big blow? Unlikely. Some have actually pinpointed McMann's striking defence as a weakness, particularly based on a hard-earned win over Shayna Baszler, but Baszler employed a leg kick-heavy offensive that won't be anything like the strategy Rousey is likely to employ sure, Rousey would probably have beaten Baszler in an easier manner than McMann beat her, but this is all about stylistics and stylistically, I fail to see how Rousey can be regarded as a favourite in this bout.
What I expect to happen is this: McMann denies Rousey her takedown attempts for a full round, perhaps even two, before Rousey is forced to rethink her strategy and without ever having to have enforced a Plan B in the past, it will be interesting to see what happens in this event. My guess is that Rousey doesn't have any tools outside of her expert takedowns and top position-heavy grappling, and if she's denied both, what then? McMann surely has to be favoured in the wrestling stakes, so as she plants Rousey on her back, can Rousey threaten anywhere near as effectively from the bottom? Perhaps early, but as the fight drags on to rounds three and four, I say no and thus the pendulum will swing McMann's way. Like I say, a Rousey first round armbar prediction borders on the ludicrous much, much more likely is a three-plus round affair, and I'm leaning towards a five round decision win for the challenger.
Winner: Sara McMann, Decision
Jeffrey Harris: On paper, Sara McMann looks like she could be Rousey's most difficult challenge to date. Both women bring excellent credentials to the cage. Both are undefeated in MMA. Both medaled in their respective disciplines at the Olympics, Rousey in judo and McMann in wrestling. Both have shown some impressive grappling skills in their MMA bouts. For McMann though, she's not been as active as Rousey has been at the biggest stage as of late. For whatever reason, McMann has not fought since April of last year. Also, only two fights ago she won a gift decision against Shayna Baszler. In that fight, Baszler was able to outstrike and keep the fight where she wanted it to be. Granted it was close, and McMann did earn the judges' decision. No matter what Rousey says, it's the striking where it appears to be one of Rousey's weaker areas. That being said, I believe Rousey poses the better offensive attack in more areas. In her rematch with Tate, she showed a very strong guard as well as a great attack off of her back. While there could be a tough couple rounds, I expect Rousey to pull off her impressive throws and eventually securing a submission win.
Winner: Ronda Rousey, Submission, Round 3
Evan Zivin: It really feels like the UFC hasn't made as big a deal out of this fight as they should be. I mean, it's only two Olympic medalists competing for a UFC Championship for the first time ever, and it's happening during the Olympics. What a perfect way to advertise. Oh well. I guess it would have worked better if FOX had the TV rights. So, there are two questions heading into this fight: 1) Is Ronda's judo enough to take out McMann's wrestling, and 2) Will it even matter in an MMA fight? Usually, I'd answer the second question with "No" since, in most cases, ground fighter + ground fighter = standup fight (see almost every other fight on this main card). That won't be the case here because Ronda is going to do what she always does: take her opponent down and grab an arm. McMann won't make that easy, since not only can she defend Ronda's takedowns, she may even be able to take Ronda down herself. The main issue I see with McMann is the fight is 5 rounds and if she can't end the fight early I don't see how she'll be able to stop Ronda's relentless submission attack. I like McMann and I want to see her do well in this fight (I kind of want to see her win just to shut Ronda's mouth up a little and see the look on Dana's face) but I think Ronda will prove to be a little more than she can handle. The answer to the first question is "Yes." Hollywood wins again.
Winner: Ronda Rousey, Submission, Round 2
Koeddy Laemmle: This will be Ronda's toughest UFC opponent yet and I think it will be one hell of a fight. I think it will be extremely back and forth with Ronda using her judo to get in dominant positions but also finding herself unable to stop McMann's takedowns. After a truly exhausting fight I think Rousey will use her judo to get in position for a finish.
Winner: Ronda Rousey, Submission, RD 4
Paul Lapointe: First off, Rousey needs to just shut her mouth. Geez, its all hypebole and Dana has not been any better lately its nauseating. But getting to the fight in general. I really want McMann to win and her wrestling 2nd to none but Ronda's judo has proven pivotal on the ground when it comes to position and in the end if the arm is there, its going home with her. I do see this fight going into the latter rounds, maybe the fourth or late third and maybe McMann is not as head strong as Miesha but until somebody shuts her up, Rowdy is the safe bet.
Winner: Money Rousey, CHRIS JERICHO ARMBAR, RD4
Robert Winfree: This is the first time I've seriously considered picking against Ronda Rousey. Rousey has simply out classed every opponent she's faced, no one has been on her level. Well Sara McMann is. Both women have had success at the very highest levels in their respective disciplines, both received Olympic medals. While Ronda was able to rag doll most wrestlers she's faced, she's never faced anyone with the wrestling ability of Sara McMann, she wont be tossed around willy nilly like Miesha Tate was. This is a fight that could easily go the distance. As tempted as I am to pick against Rousey, and as much as I would enjoy the Dana White meltdown after the fact, picking against Ronda is not a good decision. This should be Ronda's toughest fight to date though.
Winner: Ronda Rousey, Submission (armbar) Round 5
The staff picks Ronda Rousey, 6-1.
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