Sara McMann wants her private life private, even in face of stardom

You may not know Sara McMann the person, but you will know the fighter on February 22nd at UFC 170.

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Sara McMann has been out of action since April 2013. But now that she’s been chosen as the next contender to face Ronda Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 170 in February, everyone is curious where she’s been for the last nine months.

McMann was originally scheduled to return in August against former Strikeforce women’s champion Sarah Kaufman, but dropped out of the fight due to personal reasons. The former Olympic silver medalist never stated in an interview why she cancelled, and even now several months later she’s keeping the reason a secret.

It’s not because she doesn’t want the world to know about some mysterious injury or ailment — she just believes no one has a right to invade her private life, and she says her reason for dropping out of the fight is August was just that — personal.

"No, I like my private life," McMann stated. "Like I have so much of my life that has been broadcast over the Internet and stuff that some things I just really wish to keep to myself. I think most people can understand that."

I like my private life… I have so much of my life that has been broadcast over the internet and stuff that some things I just really wish to keep to myself.

- Sara McMann

As an Olympian, McMann’s name was splashed across the headlines for virtually every part of her personal life for years. Now as her star is rising in the UFC for her upcoming bout against Rousey, McMann just wants to keep her family and closest loved ones out of the spotlight.

It doesn’t help matters much, however, when McMann’s boyfriend was caught joking about a possible pregnancy rumor that spread like wildfire after she dropped out of her fight against Kaufman in August. McMann says he’s only ever made those kinds of comments as a joke, but she’s not sure that’s the kind of subject matter anyone should joke about.

"It doesn’t hurt that my significant other keeps posting everywhere ‘Oh can’t do that it’s baby-making time’ and so everybody starts assuming that," McMann said. "I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ And he’s like ‘I’m just having fun.’ That’s kind of a serious thing to joke about, really."

McMann already has one daughter who is 4 years old, but that won’t be the last child she has before it’s all said and done. The former Olympian knows more children are definitely in her future, but it’s not likely to happen until her fight career is over.

Given the amount of time she’s be forced to take off with a pregnancy, McMann knows it would be devastating to her career. For now she’s just going to stay focused on fighting, but when the time comes that having a baby is more important that winning championships, McMann will gladly walk away to add a new member to her family.

"I want to have another child," McMann stated. "It’s just one of the things that’s very hard whenever you’re a woman competing in sports because you have to take a year off. I’m 33, taking a year off could be my last year.  I think the time that I really say ‘Hey I want to have another kid,’ that desire is going to win out over MMA."

McMann will put all of her personal life aside for the next several weeks as she prepares for the biggest fight of her MMA career when she faces Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 170 from Las Vegas.