UFC 170 main event recap: Rousey retains title with her first TKO stoppage, Cormier remains undefeated

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In the main event of UFC 170 from the Manadalay Bay Events Center, the women of the UFC made history as two undefeated Olympic medalists went toe-to-toe in the Octagon for the women’s bantamweight title.

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey retained her title, this time winning by TKO and not via her signature armbar for the first time in her career. However, the stoppage by referee Herb Dean which was a direct result of a knee that crushed McMann to the body, was cricitized for being a premature one. Even as Rousey advances her undefeated record to 9-0, controversy hovers over her victory.

McMann was gracious in defeat, admitting that she slumped to the canvas and didn’t do enough to immediately recover after being struck by a knee to the body delivered by Rousey. She said the fight being waved off early was a direct result of her own actions.

For Rousey the finish went just as she expected it. She and her coaching staff had noticed a tendency of McMann’s was that she’d leave herself susceptible to body shots. Rousey said she’d promised her coaches she would finish the fight with a body shot and did. In addition, Rousey earned a Performance of the Night bonus for her first round TKO stoppage of McMann.

In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier made his light heavyweight debut against Patrick Cummins who had stepped up to battle Cormier on short notice. Cummins had done his share of talk ahead of the fight, Cormier had added fuel to the fire by pushing him at the pre-fight press conference. After the talk was over, Cormier went to work on Cummins and ultimately made him pay for his words.

He dropped Cummins and followed up with strikes to finish the fight in under 80 seconds. Cormier was originally on tap to fight Rashad Evans, but the possibily of that match-up will have to be postponed a bit longer being that Evans will require surgery on his injured knee. Meanwhile, Cormier stated in the post fight press conference that he is willing to step up for anyone who is injured to get back in the Octagon right away as he walked away unscathed.

Welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia earned Fight of the Night for their performance. MacDonald fought back from being down in the first round to earn a unanimous decision in a 3-round war with Maia.

The Tri-Star trained MacDonald came back from adversity after being dominated in the ground game with Maia in the first. Through the second and third rounds, he pushed the pace and found his striking range. He was able to continue pressuring, damaging Maia on the feet. MacDonald landed several shots that had Maia wobbled.

When all was said and done, MacDonald took home the unanimous decision over Maia, who has now lost back-to-back fights. Interestingly enough, MacDonald told reporters in the post-fight press conference that he had cut his hand with a kitchen knife which required stitches just a week ago. Apparently, the injury didn’t affect him in the bout.

White said in the post-fight scrum that he wasn’t sure who to call the next number one contender in the welterweight divsion. The UFC President explained that Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley, which is set for UFC 171, and Rory MacDonald are all on his radar as top contenders. All of them apparently could possibily face the winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler also set for UFC 171.

In more welterweight action, Mike Pyle was able to secure a late third round TKO over TJ Waldburger. The 38-year-old welterweight was able to rebound from a loss to Matt Brown with the win. His swift ground game and ability to outwrestle Waldburger were his best assets in his victory. He also outlanded Waldburger in the striking department 88 to 49.

“I felt like I was just barely winning. My coach told me I needed to win round three so I had to dig down deep, gut it out and finish. I didn’t swarm him. I really tried to take my time, pick and choose my punches and ended up getting it done. I’m very sore. He was kicking my legs pretty good. I’ve got a lot of fight left in me – I’m a late bloomer,” Pyle said in a post-fight statement.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson made quick work of TUF Smashes winner Robert Whittaker. He was able to drop Whittaker early in the first. Thompson has extended his win streak to 3 straight with the TKO win. Whittaker has now dropped his last two contests. Thompson won the other Performance of the Night bonus.

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