Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 | 6:15 p.m.
Ronda Rousey wants to use her sudden ascension into mixed martial arts’ biggest star to help shed some lingering misconceptions about the UFC.
Or better yet, she wants to let her fights do the bulk of the work for her. Rousey, who won a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics, believes her UFC 170 main event Saturday night against Sara McMann, who won silver in wrestling at the 2004 Olympics, can do some convincing.
The women’s bantamweight champion reiterated as much Friday evening at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in her final comments after she and McMann made weight at 135 pounds.
“It’s an amazing, historic event for the UFC,” Rousey said of two Olympians facing off for a title. “It’s not two guys fighting you found in the back of a bar. These are the best athletes that you can find in the entire world.”
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for a favorite old trope in the octagon too. Look to the co-main event for a classic example of enemies settling their differences in a sanctioned fight.
Patrick Cummins has openly discussed his dire financial situation after the UFC plucked him from his job at a coffee shop last week to fight Daniel Cormier on short notice. Cummins (205) hopefully wasn’t planning on getting a portion of his opponent’s purse to pull him out of debt as he joked because Cormier (205) made weight without a problem for his first bout at light heavyweight.
Everyone else on the card joined, as all 11 fights are official for UFC 170, which begins at 4 tomorrow night.
The lean Cormier, a former heavyweight who weighed 235 pounds less than a year ago in his UFC debut, drew the loudest applause when he tipped the scales. Rousey was the only other fighter who could compare, but she still attracted a sprinkle of boos to go with the cheers.
The same went for main-card fighter Rory MacDonald (171), who heard a little bit of wrath from fans after weighing in for his bout against Demian Maia (170). Not everyone in the crowd had moved on from perceived past transgressions in fights against Miesha Tate and B.J. Penn, respectively, for Rousey and MacDonald.
Rousey kept it civil this time around, displaying the respect she’s preached for McMann. The two engaged in a firm staredown but shook hands afterwards.
Cormier and Cummins didn’t. UFC President Dana White stuck his hand in between the two before they approached each other to prevent a repeat of a press conference incident.
Cummins smiled when Cormier shoved him Thursday, but glared throughout their encounter at the weigh-in. Rousey and McMann stayed more cheery, a side of the UFC they enjoyed showcasing.
“I think this is going to be the best women’s fight the UFC has ever had,” McMann said.
Check below for full results from the UFC 170 weigh-in.
Women’s bantamweight championship bout: Ronda Rousey (135) vs. Sara McMann (135)
Light heavyweight bout: Daniel Cormier (205) vs. Patrick Cummins (205)
Welterweight bout: Rory MacDonald (171) vs. Demian Maia (170)
Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle (171) vs. T.J. Waldburger (171)
Welterweight bout: Robert Whittaker (170) vs. Stephen Thompson (170.5)
Women’s bantamweight bout: Alexis Davis (135) vs. Jessica Eye (136)
Bantamweight bout: Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Pedro Munhoz (135)
Bantamweight bout: Cody Gibson (135.5) vs Aljamain Sterling (135.5)
Flyweight bout: Zach Makovsky (125) vs. Josh Sampo (126)
Lightweight bout: Rafaello Oliveira (155) vs. Erik Koch (155)
Lightweight bout: Ernest Chavez (156) vs. Yosdenis Cedeno (155.5)