Sara McMann: I don’t want 'exceptions' other fighters would have to pay dues for simply because I’m a female

Esther Lin

Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann doesn't need special "exceptions" -- or the spotlight -- just because she's a female fighting in a male-dominated sport. She simply wants to get her turn to compete inside the Octagon and get out as quickly as possible.

Undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight contender Sara McMann (6-0) isn't looking to get any special treatment ahead of her Octagon debut this weekend (Apr. 27, 2013) at UFC 159 -- which goes down from The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey -- just because she's a female.

The former Olympic silver medal-winning wrestler is more than willing to pay her dues like her male counterparts before her, in order to get top billing or a fight higher up in the pecking order.

In fact, as she revealed on her recent appearance on "The MMA Hour," if she had it her way, she would rather fight first on the card to get it over with. Furthermore, the "impatient" McMann says she doesn't need all the attention and media blitz other women fighters such as Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche, Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate before her, have received.

Her words:

"I don't really need that much attention, you know? I'm a little more low maintenance. I want to go out there and I want to compete and whether it's the first fight or the last fight or anywhere in between. I'm totally fine with that. I just want to get out there and get my turn. Truthfully, I would rather it be sooner than later. If I was the first fight on the card, I would be A-okay. I think it's just my impatience. ‘Okay, it's my turn, get out of the cage, I'm going to go in there and compete.' When it's time for me to go out there and compete, my focus is on that. I don't feel slighted or, 'Oh, they don't think I'm so wonderful.' I never even fought in Strikeforce or the undercards that other girls fought on. People don't know me as well and there are guys out there who have fought for a long time and deserve to be high up on the card and to get those different top sponsorship opportunities. I don't want it to be just because I'm a female that I get exceptions that other fighters would have to pay their dues for."

Respect.

Current women's 135-pound champ Rousey headlined the first-ever female fight inside the Octagon against Carmouche at UFC 157 last February while "Cupcake" and "Alpha" got main card love at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale a few weeks ago.

McMann, on the other hand, will take on Sheila Gaff in preliminary card action (see the lineup here) -- which will air on FX -- in one of the most anticipated pay-per-view (PPV) events this year that also features a light heavyweight title fight between current champ Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.

And that's just fine for the wrestling juggernaut, because according to her, she is okay with letting other fighters who have earned their stripes have the spotlight.

For now.

Should Sara ever find herself signing the dotted line to face "Rowdy" down the road, she would have to prepare herself for the Brock Lesnar-dwarfing media responsibilities that come with it. Because an Olympic silver medalist squaring up against an Olympic bronze medalist inside a steel cage doesn't happen too often and will undoubtedly be a public relations goldmine for ZUFFA.

It would also behoove her -- or any fighter, for that matter -- to take advantage of the perks that come with such a high profile fight, female or not.

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