Rousey KOs McMann to keep UFC belt

Posted at 02/23/2014 3:23 PM | Updated as of 02/23/2014 3:23 PM
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions from reporters after defending her title against Sara McMann in UFC 170 at Mandalay Bay. Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey got the first-ever knockout victory of her professional career after stopping Sara McMann in their championship battle Saturday in Las Vegas (Sunday in Manila).

The unbeaten Rousey dropped McMann with a vicious knee to the liver and landed a few punches, prompting referee Herb Dean to wave the fight off.

It was Rousey’s first knockout win – and the first knockdown in the UFC women’s bantamweight division – after winning her first eight fights via her trademark armbar submission.

The crowd was clearly disappointed with the stoppage, with many believing it came too early. Rousey’s post-fight interview was drowned out by boos, but McMann – who dropped to 7-1 in her MMA career – was classy in defeat.

“I thought it was a good fight. I got hit. No matter how hard you train, when you get your liver stung, you’re going to feel it,” she pointed out.

McMann also said she will be open to a rematch. “I was trying to get back up. It was my own fault,” she said.

This marks Rousey’s second title defense in just over two months. Last December at UFC 168, she defeated Miesha Tate via an armbar in the third round – the first time in her career that she fought past the first round.

Patrick Cummins (blue gloves) falls to the mat after being hit by Daniel Cormier (red gloves) during their UFC light heavyweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier was successful in his light-heavyweight debut as he knocked out Patrick Cummins, a late replacement in the fight.

Cormier was originally supposed to fight former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who had to pull out due to injury. Cummins took the bout on two weeks’ notice, but was thoroughly dominated by Cormier.

“I feel good because it’s my first finish in the UFC,” said Cormier, who forced the referee to stop the contest at the 1:19 mark of the opening round. “Training camp was long and hard, and I prepared for a long fight.”

“I’m going to stay in this cycle and be this healthy in every camp,” he added.

Cormier now has a 14-0 record in MMA.

In another bout, Rory MacDonald outpointed veteran Demian Maia after a three-round battle, while Mike Pyle knocked out TJ Waldburger in the third round of their welterweight fight.