Sara McMann, another former Olympian competing inside the Octagon, made a strong statement in her debut Saturday night, finishing Sheila Gaff at UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen.
McMann, who improved to 7-0, scored with several takedowns before locking Gaff in a mounted crucifix and landing several uncontested shots.
“I was trying to get some elbows in there too,” McMann said.
The winner of a silver medal in the Olympics, McMann was able to use that previous big-meet experience to her advantage, saying, “I just kept telling myself all week, ‘This is the kind of pressure before a world championship,’ and I’ve wrestled seven or eight of them. It helped me deal with nervousness, the crowd, everything.”
McMann has been viewed by many as a future challenger to UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. The contest, if it happens, would pit Olympic medalist against Olympic medalist, as Rousey was a bronze winner in judo.