As fans are all too well aware, one of the greatest rivalries in all of MMA is to be found in the women’s bantamweight division and as between the division’s champion, Ronda Rousey, and her arch nemesis and number two ranked, Miesha Tate.
The two first squared off in March of last year at the Strikeforce women's bantamweight championship, with Tate attempting to defend her title for the first time. The net result of their meeting was that Miesha was taken to the ground and summarily dispatched by Rousey in the first round of the match, and by way of Tate’s omnipresent armbar; seven in a row professionally, ten in a row collectively; has never won a fight by anything other than an armbar.
However and regardless of the loss, Tate put up a good fight and can even claim a moral victory of sorts that most of “Rowdy’s” opponents can’t claim. She managed to back Rousey up, punch her in the face, escape one of her armbar attempts, work her way back to the feet, reverse position, end up in her guard, and even take her back, threatening Rousey with a rear-naked choke. Further, she came within 33 seconds of surviving round one; something a fighter has yet to do against the champ.
In terms of the loss, Tate would say that she was too “invested” in the bout emotionally and that as such, she ended up playing into Rousey’s strengths.
In discussing her upcoming December 28th rematch with Rousey at UFC 168, “Cupcake” told of Inside MMA’s Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice that she’s ready for Rowdy, and that she’s “looking forward to putting forward the best Miesha Tate that anybody has ever seen.”
Further, Tate says that she’s come to realize how “emotionally unstable” the champ is (in her opinion), and that she’s learned about “some of her weaknesses that (she) didn’t really know before.”
In view of it, at least in terms of psychological warfare, fans might agree with Tate’s assessment, at least up to a point. That of the two combatants and based off of what fans saw on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 18, and any ancillary media post the show’s finale, that Tate appears to have the upper hand in mental advantage. That indeed this time through, it might be Tate who’s doing the button pushing and not Rousey. That in a nutshell, it’s Rousey who has become too emotionally invested in the fight and not Tate.
As to how the fight might go, Tate believes that she can “shutdown” Rousey’s Judo and that all she wants to do is punch her in the face. To the point, Tate says that she would like to have her “first clean knockout.”
In furtherance of that, Cupcake acknowledged that fellow Rousey antagonist, Cyborg Santos, had contacted her via twitter and offered up her services as a training partner. To that, Tate said they “were working on it.” However, as it’s so close to Christmas and Santos is back in Brazil with her family that it was “up to her” if she wanted to fly back and help.
As Tate put it:
“I’d love to have her. She’s the best woman on the planet. So, if she wants to come in and help me with my camp she’s always welcome. And the fact that she doesn’t like Ronda, you know that’s kind of a bonus.”
Regardless of whether or not Cyborg can camp with Tate prior to the 28th she can always give her advice as how to fight Rousey. As such, Santos might counsel Tate to use her wrestling in reverse to keep the fight standing and to avoid the clinch; that the road to victory will be found in a pure stand-up exchange with the champ and not a ground fight. As Tate seems intent on knocking Rousey out, the aforementioned strategy appears as if it may be the order of the day for Miesha’s fight plan.
With the fight only eleven days away, fans won’t have much longer to wait on the outcome of this epic battle.