Don’t call it a cat fight. These two women will square of for the Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion Belt on March 3. Tate has openly stated that she thinks Rousey is delusional while Rousey says, “I don’t think she’s better than me in any category”.
The highly anticipated, highly hyped title fight between newly crowned women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and undefeated sensation Ronda Rousey will take place when STRIKEFORCE® returns to Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 3.
“The energy in the city of Columbus is always incredible during the weekend of the Arnold and we can’t wait to get back there with this championship fight,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey is the title fight fans wanted and we were happy to give it to them.”
Rousey’s climb through the women’s rankings has been lightning fast, to say the least. In all seven of her professional and amateur fights she has never left the first minute of a fight.
While many would argue that former champion Sarah Kaufman should be in line for the title (Tate included), no one can deny the revitalized interest that Rousey has generated for the match. You can’t deny that the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist is as dangerous as any challenger largely in part to her many years of competing at the highest levels in Judo. Her ground skills set her apart from most of the women competing in MMA today.
Like her firm grasp on the submission game, she also understands the importance of marketing herself and WMMA. In an interview with mmafighting.com she says, “I’m not dumb, you’re not dumb,” she said. “Really, if we push the ‘hot chicks’ to fight each other for a title, it’s going to get a lot of attention. That’s why I’d rather fight Miesha for a title instead of Sarah Kaufman. Because she’s good looking and she’s marketable. More marketable than the vast majority of the girls in women’s MMA. I think that’d be a huge fight and it would lead to an eventual fight between me and Cris Cyborg being an even bigger deal. I’m just trying to figure out the right way to do things so us girl fighters have some job security a few years from now.”
Miesha made her mark in MMA last year when she submitted Marloes Coenen in a come from behind victory, securing her title. While Tate has accepted that this match is a better for WMMA she still contends that she should be fighting Kaufman. She believes Rousey has taken a shortcut to the title but the fact is that there just isn’t that deep of a roster to pull from and the number one contender doesn’t always get the shot.
“I feel like Ronda will definitely be a challenge for me, but not one that I can’t handle,” said Tate. “Her Olympic experience is great, but this is MMA and her MMA career has been short. She hasn’t truly been tested yet and I plan on doing just that when we meet in Columbus.”
This is easily the biggest fight in WMMA since Gina Carano vs. Cristiane Santos and with the volatility of WMMA under the Zuffa banner; it probably carries more serious implications. Is it all hype or will the bout deliver?