Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann recently joined the UFC, and she believes Ronda Rousey deserves some credit for the opportunity.
Ahead of her transition to the sport’s biggest promotion, McMann joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show to discuss Rousey, possible opponents and much more.
On whether she expects to fight Alexis Davis in her debut: “I talked to my manager, and he doesn’t seem to think that Alexis is going to be my opponent, or at least they haven’t said anything about that yet. That’s what I thought. When I talked to my manager, I thought maybe that’s why they presented us both as signing with the UFC instead of where they introduced Cat [Zingano] and Miesha [Tate] as against each other. The fact that they introduced us as just having been signed, maybe we’re going to fight other people. I don’t know.”
On fans on the Internet saying she didn’t want to fight Ronda Rousey: “Did the Internet, did they give you any mention of I wasn’t asked? Or Miesha Tate apparently wasn’t asked either? Because that’s also another part of the story. … It’s kind of silly because I’m going to fight every single one of those girls. Everyone that’s at the 135-pound weight class, I will be fighting. It just really doesn’t matter the order.”
On Rousey getting so much attention: “I don’t care. If you couldn’t tell by the way that I present myself, I’m not exactly striving for the limelight. I don’t mind it as much, but I really am more sports-oriented. I just like to be great at what I do and I want to beat everybody. That’s more my focus. I’m not uncomfortable with being in the limelight, but I’m definitely not seeking it out. If other people want that and that’s good for them, then it doesn’t bother me whatsoever.”
On whether it actually helps that Rousey gets so much attention: “Absolutely. I may not always agree with the things that I hear she does and says, but every girl in the division owes her a thank you for us getting carried into the UFC. Dana White literally said she’s the reason why we’re in. The stuff that she’s done has made all of our boats float a little bit higher in that respect.”
On training with Marcelo Garcia: “It was a humbling experience working with Marcelo Garcia. He’s just phenomenal. He’s one of the most phenomenal athletes I’ve ever been around, and I used to live at the Olympic Training Center.”
On her development: “I consider three and a half years still fairly new at a sport, considering I did wrestling for like 16 years before that. I think that really, the fighter I’m going to be is kind of unfolding to me. I don’t know exactly what things I’m always going to take to and what things are going to go really well with my style. Sometimes I’m really surprised at things that come really natural in training.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 55:59).