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LAS VEGAS – Fresh off her second title defense, UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will soon return to the octagon to face fellow Olympian and undefeated UFC fighter Sara McMann (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
UFC President Dana White announced the title bout at the UFC 168 post-event press conference and said it will headline UFC 170, which takes place Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“Dana approached me about this before the fight, but I’d taken such a long time off that I wanted to fight again soon,” said Rousey, who submitted rival Miesha Tate (13-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in UFC 168’s co-headliner at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I don’t want to sit on the shelf. I’m in the best shape of my life, so it’s the perfect time to go back-to-back.
“I’m still hungry and that’s what I want to do. Hopefully I’ll have another good show for you guys very soon.”
McMann, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, made her octagon debut at UFC 159 and earned a first-round TKO over Shiela Gaff. She was slated to fight Sarah Kaufman in August at UFC Fight Night 27, but withdrew for undisclosed personal reasons.
Although Rousey might not have won an audience award at UFC 168, she earned dual bonuses for her third-round armbar of Tate, picking up $100,000 for “Submission of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonuses.
The champ drew hearty boos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when she refused to shake Tate’s hand after her victory, which served as a rematch from a March 2012 bout under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner. Rousey submitted Tate to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title and was later named UFC champ when the promotion was folded.
Rousey explained that accepting Tate’s peace offering would be disrespectful to her teammates after they were slighted by the former Strikeforce champ.
Despite shooting two movies prior to the fight, Rousey dominated Tate on the ground but struggled to secure her patented armbar. For the first time in her professional career, she fought past the first round and traded heavy leather with Tate in the striking portion of the bout.
Rousey remains undefeated in the cage with an 8-0 resume. Prior to submitting Tate, she submitted Liz Carmouche in the headliner of UFC 157. For complete coverage of UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site. And for coverage of UFC 170, watch the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.
(Pictured: Ronda Rousey)
John Morgan, Matt Erickson and Ben Fowlkes contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.