Olympic wrestler Sara McMann is set for her Octagon debut at UFC 159. The fight card takes place on April 27 in Newark, N.J. at the Prudential Center. The card is headlined by the light-heavyweight title match between Ultimate Fighter coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. These women will be eager to impress since everyone wants a shot at female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
McMann is an Olympic silver medalist, which she took at Athens in 2004, and that silver medal was the first for any American woman in wrestling. It took a few years for her to enter the sport of MMA, but over the course of two years she has been very impressive. She has gone undefeated through six straight fights. Do not think that she relies only on her wrestling – she has been competing in grappling tournaments since 2009. She has taken gold medals at every competition except for the 2011 ADCC, which is one of the biggest competitions for no-gi BJJ.
In this bout she will be taking on Sheila Gaff, who was not one of the ten female fighters originally announced to be signed to the UFC. Gaff is a great addition to the Octagon because she brings a little bit of international flavor. She hails from Eschwege, Germany, and she is a bit more experienced than McMann, having 15 professional bouts. Finishing every one of her fights, Gaff is dangerous, and in her last three wins she has taken out all of her opponents by knockout in the first round. Two of those knockouts came in under ten seconds.
McMann was rumored to fight Alexis Davis, but maybe plans have been changed. Davis recently came out and opined for a match with Rousey. She critiqued the champion’s grappling, saying that she has seen holes in her game, and that is reasonable considering Davis has black belts in two different forms of jiu-jitsu. Only time will tell if she will get the chance to expose those supposed holes, but the continuing addition of women’s bouts is promising for the division.