Sara McMann is taking a pro-wrestling angle and making it into a real thing.
The UFC women's bantamweight contender is issuing an open challenge to any woman in her weight class in the UFC to accept a fight with her at UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee on July 15 in San Diego. McMann told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that she's supposed to fight on that date, but no one will accept a bout.
"If you want to fight me and you want to be on the July 15 card, let me know," McMann said.
McMann (8-2) doesn't care if the opponent is ranked or unranked, coming off a win or a loss. She's even told the UFC to sign someone new for the bout if possible. The former Olympic wrestling silver medalist just wants to fight.
"It's better than no fight at all," McMann said. "I'm gaining experience in there. If they're not as good and I have a really good performance it puts me closer [to a title shot] rather than sitting down and doing nothing."
McMann, 34, is in a unique spot in the division. She has already lost to champion Ronda Rousey back in February 2014. She is also coming off a majority decision loss to Miesha Tate at UFC 183 in January. On top of that, McMann is a dominant wrestler with improving power in her hands, as evidenced by her breaking Tate's orbital bone with a punch.
This isn't the first time McMann has complained about other women not stepping up to face her. McMann said that it was supposed to be Cat Zingano this time, but she is injured. Sarah Kaufman was also a possibility, McMann said, but she hasn't agreed to the bout, either.
McMann is not the only women's bantamweight to complain about inactivity. Kaufman, in particular, has done the same. There seems to be a glut at the top of the division.
"That's the problem," McMann said. "I'm in the same position as a lot of the other girls. I'm getting tired of it.
"If other girls don't want to fight me because I'm good, then I deserve another title shot. Isn't that the person you want to put against your titleholder, the person other people are avoiding?"
McMann said she was injured for the Tate fight and was unable to train on the ground during camp. Yet she also attempted takedowns on Tate and ended up losing the ground battle in the second and third rounds. McMann dominated Tate in the first, dropping her with a right hand and nearly finishing.
"I should have kept it on the feet," McMann said. "I didn't need the takedown. I could have stayed standing and that would have definitely been better.
"If I was in a different position in my life, I would have backed out of that fight. I trained the best I could given the circumstances."
McMann, who is ranked No. 4 among division contenders, said she wants any women's 135-pounder in the UFC who would fight her to come out and say it. She would be willing to fight any one of them.
"Maybe it won't be my next fight, maybe we'll fight after that," she said. "But then I'll know which girls actually are game. I don't want this to be unexposed anymore.
"There is not one person in my weight class that I would say no to fight. Not one. The strongest contender right now would have been Cat and I already said yes to that. The only other higher contender would be Ronda and I would absolutely say yes to that. Everybody else would be a no-brainer."
McMann, coming from her wrestling background, doesn't understand fighters ducking and dodging for more beneficial matchups. But that's what she believes is going on here, so she's issuing the open challenge: anyone at 135 on July 15 in San Diego.
"I just need other girls that would be willing to step in," McMann said. "I understand that I would be a hard person to fight, having wrestling credentials and improving on my striking. It doesn't matter. That's what you're supposed to do. That's your job. You can't just dodge the people that are working hard and getting better."