LAS VEGAS – What was supposed to be the greatest test of Ronda Rousey's career in the main event of UFC 170 didn't end up being much of a match. A Rousey knee to the midsection caused former ex-Olympic wrestler Sara McMann to collapse to the canvas and the fight was quickly stopped, just 66 seconds in.
It was a solid knee, but didn't seem to be the type that should have stopped a championship fight that quickly. Rousey landed a knee earlier that forced McMann back to the cage.
Rousey followed with an elbow that landed well and then threw the second knee that dropped McMann in a heap before referee Herb Dean stopped it. The stoppage may have been premature, as it didn't give McMann much of a chance to defend herself and/or get up, but she didn't appear to be making a great effort.
Rousey kept her UFC women's bantamweight title and went to 9-0, winning for the first time without the use of her famous and deadly arm bar. But it left the crowd in the arena angry and, for the second fight in a row, it booed loudly as Rousey was being interviewed in the cage.
The last time, when Rousey submitted Miesha Tate with an arm bar in December, the crowd was angered when Rousey refused Tate's offer to shake hands. This time, it seemed the crowd wasn't happy with the way it ended and took its anger out on Rousey.
But McMann, who won a silver medal in wrestling in the 2004 Olympics, never put up much of a fight. The pace was quick at the beginning, as Rousey charged from her corner. McMann landed a straight right early, but then didn't do much.
She allowed Rousey to bully her up against the cage and didn't seem to put up much of an effort to get off.
It led to one of the most disappointing main events on a UFC card in quite a while.
In the co-main event, Patrick Cummins' fairy tale ended amid a flurry of powerful punches from Daniel Cormier, who needed just 79 seconds to dispose of the ex-barista.
Cummins, a two-time All-American at Penn State, took the bout on nine days notice when Rashad Evans pulled out because of a serious knee injury.
Cummins was working at a coffee shop in Dana Point, Calif., at the time he was offered the match by UFC president Dana White and began a whirlwind media tour.
He talked a great game and garnered a lot of attention, but he was no match Saturday for Cormier, who was making his light heavyweight debut. Cormier, a two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler and the captain of the 2008 team in Beijing, entered the bout 13-0 and ranked fourth at heavyweight.
He badly hurt Cummins with an uppercut about a minute into the bout and quickly finished it off, forcing referee Mario Yamasaki to stop it.
Cormier said he was motivated to finish Cummins quickly, particularly given all of the trash talking that Cummins did. Cummins had said he'd made Cormier cry in training.
There was no crying on Saturday, as Cormier was brutally and efficiently dominant. Cummins barely landed a shot as Cormier took it to him and showed the experience gap in MMA. Cummins was making his UFC debut and was just 4-0 in small shows.
"When you talk, you have to be able to back it up and that's what I do," Cormier said.
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