It may only be Ronda Rousey's third title defense in the promotion, but it's her stiffest test yet.
Rousey takes on Sara McMann in the UFC 170 main event this evening (Sat., Feb. 22, 2014), which features two Olympians with undefeated mixed martial arts (MMA) records going head-to-head for the women's Bantamweight belt.
The main card airs live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The "Prelims" under card will air first online on "Fight Pass" and then on FOX Sports 1.
As the fighters who are taking part in this event finished off a week of media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see staredown pics here), it is time for their "Final Fighting Words," before the time for talking is over and the fists start flying.
Both Rousey and McMann made weight with ease for their main event match and, immediately afterward, shared some thoughts with UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan moments after they stepped off the scale.
Rogan made his way over to McMann and commenced the short interview process with the challenger.
On her thoughts on Rousey and what will go down:
"I think this is going to be the best women's fight that the UFC has ever had."
He then moved over to Rousey, who was treated to a big ovation from the crowd on scene.
On the first time Olympic medalists have fought in the UFC and her thoughts on McMann:
"I think it's an amazing historic event for the UFC. It's not two guys fighting that you found in the back of a bar -- these are the best athletes that you can find in the entire world that are fighting for the biggest title in the entire world. This is huge for everyone."
UFC on FOX Interviews
Heidi Androl and Rousey were reunited for UFC 170, bringing much joy to the hearts and minds of red-blooded males everywhere.
The interview wasn't as awkward as their previous discussions, but Rousey was still all business.
On how she is feeling with the quick turnaround:
"I feel amazing. You know, I started this camp in the best shape of my life. There was no getting into shape period, and I always had my best performances when there was a fast turnaround. So, I'm much more confident about this fight, as opposed to the last one when I had 10 months off."
On if training with pro boxers was to prove the critics wrong:
"It's not one thing to criticize to win all my fights by a certain way. If I was winning all my fights by knockout, no one would be saying anything about it. But, you know I won my world title the first time when it was just a year after my pro debut, so I've been learning on my feet. I got thrown into the deep end and I had to just figure it out and so, I've been trying to become more well rounded this entire time. Every fight, I intend to come in looking better than the last one."
On if she approaches the fight differently because her Olympic-caliber opponent:
"Yeah, I definitely do. There's certain things that I would do on Miesha that I wouldn't do on Sara. Every single fighter is a problem and I approach them like the unique and different problem that they are and I try to solve them a different way."
Androl shifted the focus to McMann, who was happy the worst was over since she could now concentrate on the biggest fight of her life.
On what the opportunity means to her:
"I think it is the accumulation of 4.5 years of work in MMA and 15 years before that in wrestling, so putting in so much work, so much dedication and so much time to getting better at my skills to have the opportunity to display them before the world."
On if she approaches the fight differently because of her long layoff:
"No, I've been competing for my whole life and I've been training the whole way through this. I bring in different competitors and it kind of simulates feeling like a fight, so it doesn't really feel like a layoff like it does when you have an injury and you really can't train at all. That feels like a little bit different, you feel rustier."
On what fans can expect from her tomorrow night:
"An intense battle, and I always go hard and give everything that I have so all the people who watch me and my fans can expect that."
That's it. No more talking, it's now time for fighting.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 170 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.