UFC 170: "Rousey vs. McMann" took place last night (Sat., Feb. 22, 2014) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. And with the spotlight available for the taking for many fighters who competed outside of the main- and co-main event matches, there were several solid performances from which to choose.
Ronda Rousey walked through Sara McMann like a hot knife through butter just two months after defeating Miesha Tate at UFC 168 in Dec. 2013, successfully defending her women's Bantamweight championship for the third time. Rousey smashed McMann in the liver with a brutal knee, and after she dropped the challenger, she followed up with punches to the side of the head (watch full video highlights here).
Obviously, referee Herb Dean's decision was controversial (just like the main event of UFC 169). Sadly, it's all a matter of opinion ... and you could be on either side of the fence for this one. Indeed, it may have been a just stoppage or it could have been a terrible one.
Speaking of terrible, Patrick Cummins proved that even working at Starbucks doesn't exactly mean you'd do well in UFC, getting put away fast by rising Light Heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier. "D.C." made his 205-pound debut, and it wasn't much of a contest. He clipped Cummins and pounced on him until the referee stepped in (watch full video highlights here).
Nonetheless, in mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can have only one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs, while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows.
There were several shining stars on UFC 170, including a change of pace for a dominant champion, and a Welterweight who desperately needed a win to continue chasing his championship dream. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups) from the event in Las Vegas.
Here we go:
Biggest Winner: Ronda Rousey
First-round armbar? Yeah, right.
Rousey proved to the critics that she isn't just a one-trick pony, stopping McMann with strikes after decking her in the liver with a knee that dropped the challenger.
Say what you will about the stoppage, it's not Rousey's problem. She looked even better on the feet since the last time she competed. And she took a few punches, too, proving she has what it takes to slug it out if you want to bring it.
"Rowdy" rose to the occasion after the quickest turnaround ever for a champion, and made history by having the fastest knockout in women's Bantamweight history thus far (even thought it's been a very short history for the ladies in UFC).
Prepare yourself for more quotes calling Rousey the biggest star in MMA. And whether you want to agree with that tag or not, it's becoming more believable after earning her first technical knockout victory (and that won her the "Performance of The Night" bonus, too).
She's still undefeated, fans love to hate her and she's still the best female fighter on the planet ... unless you think that tag belongs to someone else.
Speaking of which, where's "Cyborg?"
Runner Up: Rory MacDonald
After being dominated and smothered in the first round, Rory MacDonald stepped on the gas and put on a career-defining performance against a guy, Demian Maia, who hasn't been dominated that thoroughly on the feet in years.
MacDonald was clearly the better striker, which we could have told you weeks leading up to the fight. However, it was almost shocking that MacDonald was rocked from Maia's punches in the first round, although that was a distant memory as the fight progressed. After stuffing almost two-dozen takedown attempts in the second and third rounds, MacDonald got into the groove and never let up.
"Ares" really needed a win to prove that he still belongs in the upper echelon of the Welterweight division and he exceeded expectations by putting on quite a showing (not to mention coming back from a brutal first round).
Also, MacDonald shares the "Fight of The Night" bonus with Maia for their efforts.
Boring and safe? Not last night.
Biggest Loser: Patrick Cummins
Honestly, what did you expect?
We knew Cummins winning was virtually impossible, but after watching that disgrace of a co-main event, he made Cormier look like the best fighter on Earth.
Cue the comment section to say that the biggest loser is UFC, but if Cummins gets another shot in the Octagon, it better be against someone we've heard of (unlike his previous for opponents) since he was such an in-demand, highly-touted dangerous prospect.
More than 40 opponents turned down fights against "Durkin!"
Whatever. We sort of feel like losers for not only watching, but also covering this fight as if it was meaningful. What an epic waste of time.
Runner Up: Sara McMann
She was supposed to be the toughest challenge of Rousey's career, and for one minute, she was living up to expectations.
After McMann dropped because another knee to the liver after taking a couple beforehand, it looked like she was done for as she lied on all fours and took more shots from Rousey before Herb Dean stepped in.
Due to the fact that the women's Bantamweight division is still growing, McMann could get another title fight in the promotion with a couple of wins. It's just a bitter pill to swallow when you get finished in little more than one minute, hurting your chances when looking for a championship rematch.
It must be stressed that McMann didn't criticize Dean for rushing in and stopping the fight. And maybe that was just because she's as professional as they come. Or, really hurt.
That's it for the UFC 170 winners and losers round up.
What do you think?