One could argue that for a championship bout with such provocative story lines and pedigrees, Ronda Rousey’s UFC 170 main event against Sara McMann has had less than three months of build-up.
In reality, many would contend that the impending showdown for the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight title has been years in the making.
“We started at the amateur level at the exact same time,” said Rousey at a recent open workout at the Glendale Fighting Club, where she trains under Edmond Tarverdyan. “So we’ve both been aware of each other since then. I’ve been sure that our paths would cross at some point.”
Rousey was a two-time Team USA Olympian in judo in 2004 and 2008, winning a bronze in ’08 and becoming the first female judoka to do so. In 2004, McMann won a silver medal for the United States in freestyle wrestling. Both would then begin their amateur mixed-martial-arts careers in 2010, run off a string of wins before debuting in the professional ranks and subsequently defeat every opponent in front of them to lead into Saturday’s Olympic showdown of undefeated fighters for the UFC women’s 135-pound title at the Mandalay Bay.