She doesn’t make strict game plans. She “plans the first exchange” and improvises the rest of the fight beyond the initial encounter.
“She”, of course, is UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and the latest first exchange that Rousey has planned for is the one she intends on using against her December 28th, UFC 168 opponent, Miesha Tate.
“Rowdy” knows that she’s a vastly better fighter than she was the first time she faced Tate, and believes that if she had to fight her (March 2012) “self”, that she’d “kick the c**p out” out of that version of herself. Or as Inside MMA’s Kenny Rice put it, “Ronda now, would beat up Ronda then…”
As to what’s changed, Rousey believes that she has grown considerably since her first encounter with “Cupcake”, and that where she’d only been pro for a year and “probably, only had ten rounds of sparing in (her) whole life”, she is now a vastly more experienced fighter. “So, that’s changed”, as the champ put it.
The champ is supremely confident that she’ll once again beat Tate and sums up Cupcake’s chances as all but non-existent. With what seemed like a tone of pathos in her voice, the champ stated Tate’s chances as such:
“I don’t think she has a shot, anywhere; to be honest”
To that end, Rousey stated that she intends on “shocking and impressing everybody.”
Of course, it’s all very possible. As it stands, Rousey would easily be picked as the odds on favorite to beat Tate and probably in the first round, and probably by another armbar. However, if the champ has an Achilles heel then it might be her unbridled confidence.
As Rousey has grown since their last fight, so too has Miesha Tate. Cupcake appears to be a much calmer, more relaxed and less emotional fighter than she was back in 2012, and one that might prove a tougher challenge to the champ second time through the gate. As a massive underdog going in, a win by Tate over Rousey and not a crushing defeat at her hands, is the outcome that would shock and impress everybody.