Whatever the controversy of the stoppage, UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey not only managed to retain her title, but earn a bonus in the process. The top women's fighter in MMA claimed $50,000 - as did all post-fight bonus award winners - in a Performance of the Night award for her first-round TKO of challenger Sara McMann in the main event of UFC 170.
The bout between Rousey and McMann ended as dramatically as it didn't. Rousey put forward pressure on McMann, eating several hard punches in the process, but managed to press the challenger into the fence as she dug for underhooks and drove knees to the McMann's body. Along the fence Rousey attempted to set up trips, none of which worked, but instead found that McMann's body was open for attack. A left knee to McMann's liver did the trick, dropping the 2004 Olympic silver medalist to the mat. Rousey followed with three punches to a face down, turtled McMann. Referee Herb Dean stopped the bout, but just as he did, McMann seemed to be getting to her feet to continue the bout. It didn't matter in the end, however, as Rousey retained her title.
The end came at 1:06 of the very first round. Rousey continues her unbeaten streak and moves to 9-0 in MMA while McMann slides to 7-1.
Earning the other Performance of the Night bonus was Stephen Thompson, who opened the main card of the night's card with a first-round stoppage of Robert Whittaker at 3:43 of the frame. The end was never in doubt. Thompson was able to utilize his striking advantage to keep Whittaker at distance while he landed with hard kicks from the outside and blitzing series of punches. Eventually a right hand scored that dropped the Aussie and Thompson pounced. Whittaker tried to stand again, only to get flattened again. The bout was halted at 3:43 of the first round when Whittaker was unable to defend himself.
Thompson climbs to 9-1 in MMA while Whittaker drops to 11-4.
Claiming Fight of the Night honors are both Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia for their grueling welterweight bout. MacDonald ended up claiming the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), but he had to struggle to do it. Maia took MacDonald down the first round, even mounting the Tri-Star product, but couldn't finish him there. From the second round on, however, MacDonald turned the tide. He stuffed Maia's takedowns completely in the second round and opened up his striking arsenal with stinging jabs and crisp uppercuts. Maia was able to take MacDonald down in the third, but the Canadian stood and scored with shot after shot both before and after the only real offense of Maia's game.
MacDonald's record improves to 16-2 while Maia drops to 18-6.
UFC 170 took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.