Former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate received a golden opportunity when Cat Zingano went down with a knee injury just before filming began on TUF 18. Having lost to Zingano in a fight she was winning at the TUF 17 Finale, Tate saw her chance to continue her feud with archrival Ronda Rousey slip through her fingers.
However, a stroke of luck came calling, and both Tate and Rousey are in the midst of arguably the most tension-filled season of TUF ever aired. Much of the tension on the show appears to center around Rousey’s dislike of not only Tate, but her boyfriend, UFC Bantamweight Bryan Caraway, as well.
Caraway has been maligned in the past for his comments on Rousey, his alleged elbowing of Zingano, and even his blasting of UFC Lightweight Pat Healy. Healy had his epic win over Jim Miller at UFC 159 changed to a No-Contest after he tested positive for marijuana, losing his “Submission of the Night bonus, which went to Caraway. While he’s painted in a bad light, Tate insisted on her Yahoo! Blog that she has a special relationship with Caraway, and Rousey is jealous of that dynamic:
“I don't understand why she's so fascinated by my relationship with Bryan. I can't think why she keeps saying such ridiculous things. Sometimes I think she's jealous. From what I understand, she's been single a while and doesn't have the support system I have from Bryan and maybe there's jealousy there. I think we have a bond and a type of relationship that maybe she wishes she had.”
Bad blood between the two inaugural female TUF coaches seemed to reach an all-time high during last week’s episode. Regardless of the motivation behind Rousey’s emotions, it appears that she wants to win on the show above all else.
Unfortunately the UFC Women’s Bantamweight champ hasn’t been at all successful at that, and her two number one picks have already been defeated on the show. This is one area where Tate is excelling against Rousey for the moment, but their fight back in March of 2012 didn’t have the same outcome. Tate nearly had her elbow ripped off from a vicious Rousey armbar. Tate will have another chance to face ‘Rowdy’ in the cage in the co-main event of UFC 168 this December 28th, and that’s a date she is looking forward to with anticipation:
“I can't believe what a brat Ronda is. I can't wait to punch her in the face come December 28.”
‘Cupcake’ has proved to be the better coach thus far on the show, but will she stand a chance against the undefeated champion?
Outer Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports