According to Zuffa bantamweight Sara McMann's twitter account, a deal is "in the works" for the undefeated U.S. Olympian to make the move over to the UFC. This is one of those "it's just a matter of time" reports with Strikeforce shutting down after it's final show next January, but it's an important one. If McMann becomes the 2nd female to officially sign with the UFC, it's likely that she will be the one to take on Ronda Rousey in what would be the most important bout from a historical standpoint in MMA next year. I believe it's the right move. Here's why -
Olympian vs. Olympian. Undefeated with identical records. Judo vs. Wrestling. There are so many different angles you can use for this match up. While it doesn't involve the bad blood a Rousey vs. Tate rematch would, it's still a wet dream for any promoter.
Miesha Tate part 2, Liz Carmouche, "Cyborg" Justino (maybe in a superfight if the UFC creates a 145 pound division in the future) - these are all more than worthy opponents for Rousey. You should even put Carmouche on the same card as Rousey vs. McMann just in case of an untimely injury to either fighter she can be slotted right in. Right now though, if McMann is healthy - she's the most deserving. Come to think of it, deserving is the exact word I've been looking for.
The fighting resume of Sara McMann is a laundry list that rivals a years worth of Pitt-Jolie family rumors. She's also done enough inspirational work outside of competition to fill up plenty of minutes on a Rousey vs. McMann three-part primetime series. As a matter of fact, looking up and down the current UFC roster, you'd be hard pressed to find any one more deserving of the spotlight than McMann. This is just another one of the many pluses of women being allowed to compete on the biggest stage mixed martial arts has to offer.
Whether or not the UFC would have decided to add the women's 135 pound division to their roster, competitors like Rousey and McMann would still continue to fight. It's a career, and nowadays it's a very profitable one. It's nice to see Dana White and company wake up and realize that it's time to allow women to compete under the UFC banner, and that time is now. And Sara McMann is the most deserving of the first shot at Rousey's UFC bantamweight title.
So where do you place the first women's title fight in UFC history? That's a simple question. You put it right at the top. UFC President Dana White has been quoted as saying that the new women's division will be an "experiment". Well I can tell you right off the bat it'll be more popular, and garner more attention than the men's featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight divisions.
Unfortunately, FOX isn't ready for this one quite yet. Putting this fight on FX, or Fuel would be the ultimate disservice. The main event of a pay-per-view is the only option. Worried about it not being able to pull in big numbers because women are headlining? Well for one, don't. With the buzz surrounding Rousey, and the instant success of Shannon Knapp's Invicta FC stateside in it's first year, a UFC event headlined by women will do just fine. But even so, you should foolproof this event. This is where the matchmaking genius of Joe Silva comes in. Sometimes, to push a fight like this you need to stock your co-main event with main event talent. The third fight down on your main card, make it look like a co-main event. Now we're in business.
photo - @Sara_McMann