On Saturday, Feb. 22, the UFC hosted UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

In the night’s main event, a pair of undefeated Olympic medalists squared off as women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey put her 135-pound strap on the line against Sara McMann. Rousey stepped into the cage less than two months after defeating bitter rival Miesha Tate at UFC 168. The win extended Rousey’s unblemished record to 8-0, with all eight wins coming by armbar. McMann, meanwhile, competed in the Octagon for the second time, having stopped Sheila Gaff by TKO at UFC 159.

The co-main event was expected to feature former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans welcoming another undefeated Olympian, Daniel Cormier, to the 205-pound division. However, Evans suffered a knee injury just two weeks before the event and was replaced by promotional newcomer Patrick Cummins.

Rounding out the pay-per-view main card was a trio of welterweight contests as Rory MacDonald battled Demian Maia, Mike Pyle faced off with T.J. Waldburger, and Stephen Thompson took on Robert Whittaker.

The 11-fight event kicked off at 7 p.m ET with two fights streaming on the promotion’s digital network, Fight Pass. Four additional bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. with the five-fight, pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m.

Rousey batters McMann, retains women’s bantamweight title

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey showed a new wrinkle to her attack, stopping fellow Olympian Sara McMann by strikes in the first round to retain her title.

The two women wasted little time exchanging, with each landing heavy shots. Rousey pushed the fight against the cage and began unloading short shots. A series of knees and elbows had McMann hurt. A big knee from Rousey connected with McMann’s liver and she dropped to the canvas. Rousey rained right hands and Herb Dean halted the contest just 66 seconds into the title affair.

Cormier demolishes Cummins

Making his light heavyweight debut, former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier dispatched of short-notice opponent Patrick Cummins in under 90 seconds.

Cummins landed a body kick early and looked for a takedown. Cormier shrugged him off and landed a big uppercut that wobbled Cummins. Cummins backpedaled, but Cormier smelled blood. He landed a right hand that sent Cummins to the canvas and he swarmed with a series of right hands. Cummins tried to get back to his feet, but ate more shots and Mario Yamasaki waived off the assault.

MacDonald too much for Maia

Canadian Rory MacDonald got back in the win column, using his striking to get the better of Brazilian grappling ace Demian Maia by unanimous decision.

Maia immediately shot for a takedown, but MacDonald stuffed it initially. Maia latched onto a leg and dragged the fight to the ground. From there he passed to the mount and dropped heavy elbows and punches from the dominant position. MacDonald struggled from his back, but eventually powered back to his feet. Maia landed a big right hand late as the round concluded.

In round two, the tide turned. MacDonald stuffed multiple takedown attempts from the Brazilian and began to open up with his striking. MacDonald used his jab to set up a body kick that hurt Maia. Maia winced in pain and dropped his hands. MacDonald didn’t get overanxious and continued to land from the outside. Maia appeared to recover and the pair exchanged punches on the feet. MacDonald bloodied the face of Maia to close the frame.

Round three was largely a carbon copy of round two. MacDonald continued to stuff Maia’s takedown attempts and pepper the Brazilian with his jab. Maia locked onto a double leg and scored with a takedown midway through the round, but MacDonald kicked him off and returned the fight to the feet. From there, MacDonald unloaded with big right hands. Maia survived to the final bell, but fell short on the scorecards.

Pyle finishes Waldburger

Both fighters started slow, trying to find their range. Waldburger scored first with leg kicks and scored with pair of left hooks. He closed the distance on Pyle and looked for a takedown, but Pyle was able to shrug him off. When the pair clinched again, Pyle scored with a beautiful outside trip and moved to side control. Waldburger powered back to his feet, but Pyle scored with knees until the round closed.

The middle frame saw Waldburger continue to open up with his striking, but Pyle caught a kick and dumped him to the mat. Waldburger looked for a leg lock off his back, but Pyle punches his way into the guard. Pyle scored with short shots, but Waldburger again worked back to his feet. Pyle continued to land knees from close quarters and Waldburger’s nose began to pour blood as the round came to an end.

Waldburger’s success on the feet continued early in round three, but Pyle scored with a right hand that saw Waldburger wobble. Pyle moved forward and scored with a shoulder strike and left hook. Waldburger fired back with a kick, but Pyle landed a spinning elbow that dropped Waldburger. Waldburger was desperate for a takedown and ate a big knee from Pyle. Pyle latched onto a guillotine and moved the mount. From the dominant position, Pyle dropped heavy elbows and punches, forcing Herb Dean to stop the fight.

Thompson stops Whittaker

Welterweight Stephen Thompson showcased his striking prowess, stopping TUF: Smashes winner Robert Whittaker by first-round TKO.

Whittaker was aggressive early, pushing forward. Thompson countered with a variety of kicks, narrowly missing with a hook kick. Whittaker’s forward march spelled his doom, as Thompson found his range and dropped him with a huge right hand. Thompson smelled blood and delivered a vicious knee to the body before flurrying with punches. The barrage forced referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and hand Thompson the victory.

Preliminary Card Summary

Canadian bantamweight Alexis Davis made her case for a title shot by edging out Jessica Eye via split decision. The opening round saw Eye land with her hands as Davis tried to work from the clinch. Davis scored a takedown to close out the round and she parlayed that into a dominant second stanza. However, the final round was contested entirely on the feet. In the end, two of the three judges rewarded Davis for her efforts.

Top-10 bantamweight Raphael Assuncao used patient striking to spoil the UFC debut of former RFA champion Pedro Munhoz. The two Brazilians largely spent the fight on the feet and despite Munhoz’s forward march, he could not answer the techniques of Assuncao. Munhoz tried his luck on the mat in round two, but ate numerous heavy shots while searching for a leg lock. When it was all said and done, Assuncao took all three rounds on all three scorecards.

In a match-up of Octagon newcomers, bantamweight Aljamain Sterling kept his undefeated record intact with a unanimous decision win over Cody Gibson. Sterling started the fight pushing forward and forcing Gibson to defend against flashy striking attacks. Gibson resorted to his wrestling in the second frame, nearly taking Sterling’s back on multiple instances. In the final round, Sterling dug deep, nearly finishing Gibson with multiple choke attempts.

Flyweight Zach Makovsky continued his ascension up the 125-pound ladder with a dominant performance against a game Josh Sampo. Makovsky used his single-leg takedown to perfection throughout the affair, putting Sampo on his back on multiple occasions. Sampo showed resolve, pushing Makovsky in the final round, but Makovsky was simply too much, earning a unanimous verdict from the judges.

Erik Koch’s first Octagon fight at 155 pounds was a success as he demolished Brazilian Rafaello Oliveira in less than 90 seconds. Koch delivered a straight left that dropped Oliveira within the first minute of the bout and he followed him to the mat. From there, Koch unleashed a barrage of ground and pound that forced referee Yves Lavinge to halt the bout.

In a battle of debuting lightweights, Ernest Chavez edged out Yosdenis Cedeno via split decision. Cedeno opened the fight aggressively on the feet, but Chavez countered with a smothering grappling attack. Chavez’s top control took away Cedeno’s explosiveness as the fight wore on and earned him the win on the scorecards.

FULL RESULTS
Ronda Rousey def. Sara McMann by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 1:06 – for women’s bantamweight title
Daniel Cormier def. Patrick Cummins by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:19
Rory MacDonald def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mike Pyle def. T.J. Waldburger by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 4:03
Stephen Thompson def. Robert Whittaker by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:43
Alexis Davis def. Jessica Eye by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Raphael Assuncao def. Pedro Munhoz. by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Aljamain Sterling def. Cody Gibson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Zach Makovsky def. Josh Sampo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Erik Koch def. Rafaello Oliveira by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:24
Ernest Chavez def. Yosdenis Cedeno by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)