In what might seem to some like a tribute to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the UFC 170 co-main event will feature Daniel Cormier making his highly anticipated move to light heavyweight to take on former Olympic wrestling training partner Patrick Cummins, who is making his organizational debut as a result of Rashad Evans' pulling out of the fight due to injury.
In addition, fans will see women's bantamweight title holder and former Olympian Ronda Rousey fight for the second time in the past two months against the relatively lesser known Sara McMann, who has an Olympic wrestling background that will provide a novel threat to the usually dominant Rousey. Let's look through the stats to find value in the lines for Saturday night's Olympics-themed card.
Rousey will be squaring off with McMann just 55 days after defeating Miesha Tate. This is a very fast turnaround for a champion to take a fight. To make the situation more bizarre, McMann last fought almost a year ago in her UFC debut. With such a short resting period for Rousey and such a large layoff for McMann, will that overshadow what should be the main attraction of the fight: whether the former Olympic wrestler can stop the undefeated former Olympic judoka Rousey?
It's no secret that Rousey's strategy in this fight -- and every fight she has been in -- is to take her opponent down and implement her trademark armbar to finish things as quickly as possible. And so far, the strategy has been flawless, netting Rousey eight wins via armbar in her eight career fights, with only her previous fight with Tate going beyond the first round. With a giant 8.11 takedowns and a mammoth 6.08 submissions per 15 minutes, Rousey has put up seemingly unstoppable production in this area. However, McMann's Olympic-level wrestling could give Rousey arguably the biggest test of her career.
As a result, the statistic of the fight is McMann's 100 percent takedown defense. Whether Rousey will be able to take McMann to the ground or not will tell a lot about how this fight goes down. And with McMann possessing a respectable 6.78 takedowns per 15 minutes herself -- and Rousey sporting just a 60 percent takedown defense -- McMann might be able to take offensive control of the fight and coast her way to a fourth career decision win.
The other question pertains to Rousey's conditioning, given that she has never seen past the third round of an MMA fight. McMann's Olympic-level conditioning could prove crucial in a fight that has the makings of going the distance. Despite going into the third round against Tate, Rousey was still able to armbar Tate after exerting a lot of energy in the back-and-forth battle. A five-rounder could wear down Rousey.
Consider this a stay-away bet given how dangerous Rousey is with the armbar as well as how difficult a matchup McMann might turn out to be.
Insider value pick: Stay away