Author: Brent Cristelli
Date: Nov. 3, 2016
The relationship between two former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champions, Miesha Tate (18-6) and the polarizing Ronda Rousey (12-1), has always been pretty ugly.
The heated rivalry began back in Strikeforce, where “Rowdy” injured Tate’s arm with one of her patented armbars in the very first round. The hate between them escalated on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which resulted in the coaches’ bout at UFC 168 ending with yet another Rousey armbar, this time in the third round. At the end of that fight, Rousey refused to shake “Cupcake’s” hand, and since then the hate between the two hasn’t necessarily simmered down, at all.
However, Tate’s recent attitude towards Rousey hasn’t been quite as hateful as it used to be. In a media lunch scrum yesterday with MMAFighting.com — prior to her upcoming bout against Raquel Pennington (8-5) at UFC 205 — Tate provided an honest take on Rousey’s upcoming title shot against Amanda Nunes (13-4) at end of the year card, UFC 207.
“Well, it really doesn’t matter what I’m okay with,” Tate said regarding Rousey’s immediate title shot after her devastating loss to Holly Holm (10-2) in Nov. of 2015. “I already knew that was gonna happen, so I just try not to overthink it and I fully anticipated that if and when she made a comeback, it would be for a title shot. So, you know, given that it was no surprise.”
Plenty of folks in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community had their disputes about Rousey’s title shot. Some believe that she deserves it, others believe that she doesn’t. But “Cupcake” is visualizing this from the perspectives of both sides of the spectrum.
“Ronda, for the longest time, was one of the best in the world. I mean, if you want to make an argument, you could say like she had an off-night like I did. So, she still has a big presence in this sport even though she’s been gone for a long time. It’s gonna create a lot of viewership and I guess in that sense, if you look at it from a business perspective, it makes sense.”
From a business perspective, it does make sense. Aside from “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, Rousey is definitely the biggest draw — especially for women’s MMA — in the UFC. However, with Ronda recently talking retirement on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — along with when she talked about committing suicide on the same show months ago — Tate doesn’t necessarily believe that this is the right move for her.
“I don’t know what it’s gonna do for Ronda as far as like where she’s at. I think maybe not a five-round fight or a warm-up fight would be better for her. Probably, because I think ring rust is a real thing. It definitely can affect fighters and you don’t know how mentally she — really she’s been so out of the limelight and none of us are really involved in her personal life so you don’t know how she’s dealing with that loss since then. I know she’s talking about retirement and I don’t know why everyone’s so surprised about that. I feel like she was saying that before she fought Holly, that she was coming to a close.”
Finally, Tate addressed her desire for a trilogy match-up with Rousey. This, of course, is what “Cupcake” wants more than virtually anything (aside from the belt).
“For me, I just want to fight her one more time and granted that she goes out there and does well and she wants to continue fighting, I would love the opportunity to go one more time. So hopefully it’s not too much of a race against the clock, and I will be watching that fight, definitely invested.”
Maybe we will see Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate III come to fruition in the near future, and also maybe not. It all depends on the outcome of their respective bouts. As a fight fan, however, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be tuning in to watch these two ladies go at it once more.
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