UFC 170’s Sara McMann: “When the Pressure Comes On, I Show Up”

February 18, 2014
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Sara McMannIt’s an obvious fact that earning the silver medal was no easy feat to accomplish when Sara McMann won it at the 2004 Olympics for freestyle wrestling. The success McMann experienced at the Athens Games has been similar to her mixed martial arts efforts in the sense that she’s widely considered one of the best in the world.

But when she became an MMA fighter, McMann wouldn’t rely on her Olympic background to become successful in her new sport. Sometimes, she said, Olympians can’t do as well in other sports as they did at the Games.

“I don’t know if it was necessarily my Olympic success that has [played into my MMA success],” McMann recently told MMAWeekly.com. “I think you can take other Olympians or Olympic medalists and sometimes that doesn’t translate into success in another sport. So I think part of it is each individual, and that’s why when I began MMA I said, ‘Maybe I’ll like this and maybe I’ll take to it … but maybe it won’t.'”

Luckily for her, McMann showed that she was pretty good at being a mixed martial artist. She’s proven just how capable she is by winning the first seven fights of her career, keeping an undefeated record with notable wins over fighters like Shayna Baszler and most recently Sheila Gaff.

At some point during that run, McMann used it as a sort of feeling-out process to find out if fighting in a cage was for her.

“I kind of gave myself a little bit of time to see if I don’t like this,” she said, adding that if she didn’t take to it, she would be okay with just having her wrestling career to look back on.

McMann, she came to find out, took to it very well and now she’s earned a shot at the UFC women’s bantamweight belt against titleholder Ronda Rousey, another former Olympian, in the main event at UFC 170.

The fact that both Rousey and her challenger share the Olympic background has made the 135-pound champ say she anticipates McMann being the toughest opponent she’s had to date. Like the 2004 games, the world will watch as McMann battles another Olympic athlete for gold, and all the pressure in the world will lay on her shoulders this Saturday when the two meet in Las Vegas.

But no matter the pressure she feels as she prepares to fight for her first MMA world title, McMann is confident she’ll carry out her task with no worries. If anything her Olympic experience has taught her, it’s that she can deal with big opportunities.

“By the time that I had competed in my first world championships or had competed in the Olympics, I had never done that before,” she said. “So really it just revealed to me that when it is the big pressure situation … I do what I’ve been trained to do.

“Whenever the pressure comes on, I show up.”

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  • horace

    Sara McMann looks like 4 guys I know. Has sunlight ever hit that huge snoz?

    • Aimed With “V”

      Not sure how her looks are any of your business.

      She’s a mixed martial artist, not a supermodel.

      • horace

        you got that right with that mug that could stop a Rhino in it’s tracks.

        • TheCerealKiller

          If you’re looking to see attractive women, you’re not doing it right. If you want to bash Ronda for being everywhere you look, I’m OK with that.

          • UOENO

            I agree. 100%

  • the brute

    I find her quite pretty. Far prettier than Rousey.

    • horace

      what 450 x 450 vision?

    • Pat Garret

      You need , to go Lens Crafters, lol

      • UOENO

        She is more attractive than Honda. Inside and out.

  • horace

    Mcmann barely beat the terrible lousy 35 year old Baszler. Look for a quick Rhonda win.

    • Aimed With “V”

      First you comment about her looks, then make a separate comment about her performance, using primitive MMAth.
      Why do you hate McMann so much? Does she look like a girl who refused to sleep with you, so you’re still a virgin?

  • horace

    McMann looks about 3 quarts low in the blood department. Is Sara a vampire or a ghoul? ghastly white is scary?

    • atmosphere

      You’re the equivalent of women who watches football for looking at big buff men, or women who watch basketball for men showing skin, or women who watch baseball for men wearing tight pants.
      Essentially, you’re a female that “enjoys” sports.

      • Bogart Brush


  • Doglintine

    I reckon Rousey’s breath would smell like horse poop
    After her workout : Steamed horse poop.
    Don’t even want to imagine what her ass smells like especially after a workout.

  • horace

    Put 2 fangs in Sara McManns mouth and you have Draculas’ daughter.