37-Year-Old UFC Bantamweight 11-5-0
May 30, 2018 Sara McMann News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
McMann announced Wednesday morning that she is three months pregnant, MMAFighting.com reports.
One thing McMann made clear is that this is not a retirement announcement. She had planned to take the time off anyway to attended to shoulder injuries sustained in her back-to-back losses, and the timing simply lined up right. She currently sits as the No. 8-ranked female bantamweight on the UFC.com rankings, and with her current timeline, could fight again before mid-2019 if she chooses to.
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Fantasy AnalysisWhat a disaster. This may very well be the most disappointing loss of McMann's UFC career and that would be saying something. She nearly stopped Reneau in Round 1, a round in which McMann almost certainly won by a 10-8 count. Less than four minutes later she was tapping out to a triangle choke. McMann keeps herself in terrific shape and her wrestling game remains as strong as ever, but there are stretches in virtually every single one of her fights where she gets lazy and puts herself in danger. Saturday it ended up costing her the bout. We all know McMann has shown no ability to win a big fight, but now she is losing to fringe top-ten fighters such as Reneau. She might be done at age 37.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann had been riding a three-fight winning streak before having it snapped against Ketlen Vieira in September, but will get the opportunity to bounce back against the 40-year-old Reneau. McMann's best path to victory will be to get this fight to the ground and work her submission game, though it's worth noting her Brazilian opponent has never been submitted in her professional career.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann is coming off a disappointing defeat at the hands of Ketlen Vieira via submission (arm triangle) in early September at UFC 215 in Edmonton. The 37-year-old will look to regain momentum against UFC-newcomer Kunitskaya, who recently held the Invitcta FC bantamweight belt after defeating Raquel Pa'aluhi in August. Overall, McMann holds an 11-4 career record, and won her previous three outings prior to the loss in Edmonton.
Fantasy AnalysisPotentially on the verge of another title shot with an impressive win, this is by far the most disappointing loss of McMann's career. She used her strength and grappling ability to dominate the vast majority of Round 1, but she allowed the talented Vieira to outwork her during a mat exchange in Round 2 and her chances of ever seeing another title shot may have evaporated with it. McMann left her hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina to train with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento for this fight, but it didn't make a difference in the end. The 36-year-old suddenly finds herself at a career crossroads.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann came into this fight as a huge favorite, and it showed. She immediately closed the distance and scored a takedown. Mazany got back to her feet but ended up back down again. When Mazany fell, she basically ended up in an arm-triangle choke. McMann locked it on and squeezed for the finish. The Olympic silver medalist has won three fights in a row since falling to Amanda Nunes in 2015.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann has faced the elite fighters in the UFC's female bantamweight division, as her only professional losses have came to Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and current champion Amanda Nunes. Since the loss to Nunes, she has rattled off back-to-back wins against Jessica Eye and Alexis Davis. If she can pick up her third straight against the No. 8-ranked Carmouche, she could find herself right back in the title picture. With Holly Holm moving up to featherweight, Tate recently retiring and Rousey not quite what she once was, only a few ranked fighters are standing in McMann's way. Of course, the winner of Saturday's bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena will get the next crack at Nunes.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann's brute strength and wrestling ability won her this fight. She was able to plant the returning Davis on her back with ease, although McMann's defense from top position was bordering on non-existent. McMann was eventually able to muscle her way into position to clamp on the choke that forced the stoppage. Despite the win, considering how much better she looked physically than Davis, it was another mediocre performance from McMann. The 36-year-old former title-challenger got the win that she desperately needed, but there still doesn't appear to be much hope for her moving forward.
Fantasy AnalysisCurrently sporting a 3-3 record during her time in the UFC, McMann has struggled since she entered the company with an undefeated record in April 2013. Her wrestling is as strong as ever, which isn't a surprise given she is a former Olympic Silver Medalist, but the rest of her game hasn't developed as much as many had hoped. At age-36, this is a must win fight for McMann if she wishes to continue to fancy herself as a title contender.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann has faced some tough competition in her last five bouts, facing the likes of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Amanda Nunes. She'll face another top contender in Davis, who's 6-1 in her last seven fights while holding a 17-6 professional MMA record. The two bantamweights will meet at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Dec. 3.
Fantasy AnalysisThe most important thing for McMann was the victory, but it wasn't a performance that will have fans clamoring to see her fight again anytime soon. McMann ended up with nearly two full rounds worth of control time, but she didn't setup her takedowns well and despite her obvious strength, she is still an awkward striker. McMann spent some time training at TriStar in Montreal for this fight, but she finished her camp back home in South Carolina. McMann will turn 36 in September, so the odds of her game improving to the point where she can compete against the best fighters in the world are slim. A permanent move to a better camp may be her last hope. This was her first win since August 2014.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann’s entire career has gone down the tubes since her 66-second lost to Ronda Rousey in February 2014, but she has a real chance to get back on track in this fight against Eye. McMann’s only world-class skill is her wrestling (and it’s elite, she won an Olympic silver medal), but that should be more than enough for her to beat the majority of the fighters she faces if she fights smartly. There is little doubt that McMann would benefit from moving from her adopted home of South Carolina to a bigger camp, but she has been hesitant to do so. She has faced elite competition, but dropping four of five fights isn’t an option for a fighter of McMann’s caliber. She needs a win here.
Fantasy AnalysisMcMann's last four fights include losses to Nunes, Ronda Rousey (a title fight in which she lasted 66 seconds) and Miesha Tate and a split decision win over Lauren Murphy in which she could have easily lost. She's clearly going backwards. McMann remains an elite wrestler, but she makes constant mistakes in her striking game and it ends up costing her dearly. The biggest concern Saturday (other than the loss, obviously) was the fact that McMann was in good position to land a couple takedowns and she wasn't able to complete them. It's a terrible sign for a woman who is a former Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. She was undefeated when she first entered the UFC, but it's been all downhill since.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's been a rough last 18 months for McMann. She's 1-2 in her last three bouts and she easily could have been on the short end of the one that she pulled out (a split decision win over Lauren Murphy last August). McMann, a former Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling, is easily the best wrestler in the women's division but the other aspects of her game haven't developed as she had hoped. She badly needs a bounce back effort against Nunes.