The long wait for a shot at redemption is almost over for Miesha Tate (13-4). She will finally get her chance to avenge her March, 2012 loss to Ronda Rousey (7-0) at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013. That fight broke a six-fight win streak for Tate and cost her the Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship belt.
Tate’s old belt is now in a whole new league with a much smaller talent pool, but the woman who took it from her is still reigning supreme. Rousey has a 100 percent submission rate in her pro career (all by armbar), and she’s never had to go beyond the first round.
Tate actually broke up a string of seven straight fights for Rousey that didn’t even make it out of the first minute. That trend extended all the way back to Rousey’s three bouts in the amateurs. Tate made it to the 4:27 mark of the first round before a vicious dislocation of her elbow forced the referee to stop the fight. Only Rousey’s last opponent, Liz Carmouche (8-3), lasted a longer time in the cage (4:49) with the former-Judo phenom.
Those who might be quick to criticize Rousey as being relatively inexperienced as an MMA fighter often fail to recognize her amazing success as a judoka. She became the first American woman to win a medal in Judo at the Olympics when she captured a bronze at the summer games in Beijing back in 2008. Prior to that awesome achievement, Rousey won a variety of other championships and tournament medals in the sport.
Tate’s experience in the various fighting disciplines that make up mixed martial arts also began to develop long before her March, 2006 amateur MMA debut. She started wrestling when she was a 15-year-old freshman in high school… on the men’s team. She was the only female there for all four years, attending every single day of practice. Her work ultimately paid off when she won the women’s state championship during her senior year. She later stumbled across MMA in college and quickly fell in love.
“It was like the stars aligned for me,” she said in July, 2012 about initially discovering mixed martial arts.
Tate’s last fight with Rousey left her with multiple torn ligaments, badly torn muscle tissue and a severely dislocated elbow, but she’s confident she can pull off the upset in their rematch.
“I think that if I make some small adjustments I will win that fight,” she said. “It’s as simple as not getting caught in that arm bar and really, really working on that.”
Rousey and Tate will first have to get through a contentious and controversial taping of the first co-ed season of The Ultimate Fighter where they are serving as opposing coaches. The 18th season of the reality show begins airing on Fox Sports 1 on Sep. 4, 2013. Their already intense rivalry is only becoming increasingly bitter according to early reports from UFC President Dana White.
Both women are obviously ready to get back in the cage and show the world what they’re really made of. This is sure to be one of the most entertaining and competitive bouts in the history of women’s MMA.