Miesha Tate sent the UFC women’s bantamweight division into a spiral of confusion when she choked former champion Holly Holm out in the co-main event of last Saturday’s (March 5, 2016) UFC 196 from Las Vegas.
It was a gritty, come-from-behind performance that cast serious doubt on Holm’s ability to contend with the world’s best female grapplers. Following years of dedication, Tate earned the title she coveted most, but there are still many who believe that Holm, who infamously decimated former champion Ronda Rousey in the main event of last November’s UFC 193, shouldn’t even have taken the fight in the first place.
UFC president Dana White is not surprisingly among them, as he told ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell (via ESPN’s Brett Okamoto) that the former champ doesn’t know what she passed up in choosing not to wait for a blockbuster rematch with Rousey, and that’s because of her management:
“The sad part about that is, listen, he’s an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he’s not,” White said during an appearance on ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell. “It’s one of those things. I feel bad about it. I feel bad for Holly. I don’t know if Holly really knows what she lost. I think she has so much faith in the people that surround her, she feels like, ‘Well, they got me this far.’
“We had this meeting, and Holly wasn’t even in it. Holly, that’s your life. You should be in that meeting. Don’t leave it to these people. Anyway, Holly made a lot of money. She accomplished great things, she beat Ronda Rousey. But it could have been so much bigger for her, and the sad part is, I don’t think she even knows it.”
For his part, Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez fired back when questioned by ESPN that Holm did know what she had lost and it was a calculated risk that was close to paying off for her:
“Of course, she knows,” Fresquez said. “It was a team decision, and Holly is the boss. She wanted to fight, and she got her wish. I think she’ll fight Miesha or Ronda next. That’s my personal feeling, but who knows what the UFC has cooking? Holly was dominant in that fight against Miesha except for the second and fifth round. She paid for it. Hat’s off to Miesha for capitalizing.”
Fresquez said he believes Holm will rebound to fight either Tate or Rousey again, and while she took a big hit at UFC 196, she’ll most certainly rebound like the warrior she is:
“What happens next is the UFC’s decision. All I can speak to are Holly’s wishes. Holly wants to fight Miesha right away. She wants to fight Ronda Rousey. Even with the title, a fight between Miesha and Rousey doesn’t have the glamour a fight with Holly and Ronda does. Yeah, Holly lost. She made a mistake, but she’ll learn from it. Everyone saw she’s a warrior.”