Ronda Rousey posted a video of her first staredown this week with Feb. 22 challenger Sara McMann, and the scowl that seemed painted on the UFC women’s bantamweight champion’s face for the last year was replaced by shared laughter with her opponent, even joking.
McMann, 33, wore a T-shirt reading, “Making People Smile.”
After the pressure of starring in the UFC’s first women’s fight last February and the months-long angst of filming “The Ultimate Fighter,” before finally getting a third-round armbar victory over her hated rival Miesha Tate on Dec. 28, Rousey is in an interesting situation.
She’s disarmed. Now can McMann, a 2004 U.S. Olympic wrestling silver medalist disarm the champion in the Mandalay Bay octagon?
“I know a lot of people don’t know me, but that’s a little bit by choice,” McMann (7-0) said. “I prefer to train in quiet and don’t seek out attention or say the things that come with that.
“But I’ve been wrestling for 16 years, have gone to the highest levels, so I think that has earned me the right to say I think I can win the title.”