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UFC 159: Sara McMann stops Sheila Gaff

McMann, left, was the first American woman in

McMann, left, was the first American woman in history to win a silver medal in Olympic wrestling. She lost to Japan's Kaori Icho, from Japan in the women's freestyle 63kg final match at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Credit: AP

NEWARK -- Sara McMann needed approximately three seconds to show off her Olympic silver-medal winning wrestling pedigree.

But it was those fists of her that gave her the first-round victoy at the Prudential Center at UFC 159 on Saturday night,

McMann took down Gaff for a second time midway through the first round and was able to control Gaff's left arm with her left hand and her right arm with her legs. From the crucifix position, McMann threw right hand and right hand until the referee stopped the fight with 54 seconds left.

"I was trying to get some elbows in there, too," McMann said, "but I wasn't in the right position."

The grappling advantage was appparent immediately for McMann. Gaff, nicknamed "The German Tank" walked quickly across the cage as soon as the fight began and McMann timed the double-leg takedown perfectly.

The crowd at the Prudential Center booed when McMann (7-0) and Gaff were on the ground with little action after that takedown, just as most arena crowds do when the men fight. The referee stood them up and McMann eventually brought the fight back to the ground to finish off Gaff (10-5-1).

At some point, we'll forget the precise count of women's MMA fights in the UFC. At some point, we'll have too many in the memory bank to be able to easily compare one bout to the other.

Watch the UFC 159 live stream of post-fight presser just after 1 a.m.

New York Sports