Ever since watching Holly Holm knock out Ronda Rousey with a head kick last November at UFC 193, Miesha Tate has been analyzing the fight footage and seeing the mistakes her former rival made — and knows how she would approach a battle with the current women’s bantamweight champion.
Tate was granted the first shot at Holm at UFC 196 coming up on March 5, and she’s very excited to test her mettle against the woman who handed Rousey her first professional loss in mixed martial arts.
It’s an old adage in MMA to say "styles make fights", but Tate is a real believer in that philosophy because she recognized the mistakes Rousey made right away while attacking Holm.
When the strategy backfired, Rousey didn’t have a backup plan, so she stuck with the same attack and it eventually ended in disaster.
She just went out there like a charging bull in a china shop and she allowed Holly to play the perfect game plan. Holly was the matador, Ronda was the bull. The bull fell victim.
— Miesha Tate
"I think Ronda went into that fight with Holly thinking, ‘If I don’t finish this girl in under two minutes, I’m already a failure,’ and she went in there with such desperation to get a quick finish — she had 25 minutes to get that fight to the ground and submit Holly. I think Ronda is capable of that, but I think she mentally beat herself up after not being able to do that in the first round. Hey it’s OK, you have 20 more minutes, like, relax for a second," Tate said about the Rousey-Holm fight when speaking to FOX Sports.
"She just went out there like a charging bull in a china shop and she allowed Holly to play the perfect game plan. Holly was the matador, Ronda was the bull. The bull fell victim."
It’s hard to argue with Tate’s logic considering the way the fight ultimately played out. Rousey constantly stepped forward and ate a ton of shots from Holm until the final head kick put a stop to the carnage in the second round.
Tate isn’t bashing Rousey’s performance as much as critiquing what went wrong and how she’s a much different matchup for Holm in their upcoming fight in March. Tate preaches patience in the face of adversity and a willingness to fight back round after round until she finally finds the opening necessary to get the win.
"I’m not like Ronda at all in my fighting style. I present different challenges and I have a lot more ring experience and I’ve been battle tested. I’m definitely a battle-tested veteran. I know I can take a punch to give a punch and I don’t fear the clock," Tate said.
"I don’t care if it takes me 24 minutes and 59 seconds to win that fight, I will be in it to win it. I will be patient when I need to be patient, I will be explosive when I need to be explosive. I will be calculated and precise and I will do exactly what I need to do to win this fight."
During her recent four-fight win streak, Tate showed off a lot of new skills that she’s been honing under head coach Robert Follis and her home team at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
Tate knows this is a huge opportunity to face Holm just after she defeated Rousey to win the title and for all the work she’s put in to earn this shot, she promises to make the most of it come March 5 at UFC 196.
"I think they’re going to regret the decision after the fact," Tate said about Holm taking the fight with her ahead of a potential rematch with Rousey. "Like, ‘Man, we really wanted to step up, we wanted to prove that we’re the best in the world as champion,’ but I’m going to spoil those plans.
"They know this is a huge step up in competition. They know that stylistically, I think everyone believes that I’m a more challenging style for Holly. I present different problems."
Tate will attempt to wrestle the title away from Holm and become the third woman to hold the bantamweight title when they meet at UFC 196 in Las Vegas.