It’s a rather dubious honor to be known as the fighter who has taken Ronda Rousey farther than anybody else in history yet still have two submission losses to the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, but that’s exactly what Miesha Tate has to hear before and after almost every single one of her fights.
Tate has fallen to Rousey on both occasions they’ve stepped into the cage together, but managed to survive until the third round with her during one fight. That’s more than double the time any other opponent has amassed with the most dominant athlete in all of sports.
Outside of her Rousey fights, Tate consistently has been the top bantamweight in the women’s division and has fallen to only one other opponent in the past five years. On Saturday night, Tate won her fourth fight in a row with a lopsided performance against Jessica Eye to once again find herself at the top of the list of challengers.
Article continues below ...
UFC president Dana White confirmed after the fights ended that Tate has done everything she needs to do to get the next title shot against the winner of the UFC 190 main event next weekend.
Rousey faces Bethe Correia on Aug. 1, but there aren’t many people expecting the Brazilian challenger to last much longer than the champion’s previous three opponents. Rousey will walk into the arena in Brazil as much as a 15-to-1 favorite, so it’s hard to imagine she won’t still be the champion when UFC 190 is over.
If that’s the case, Rousey once again would face Tate with the UFC women’s bantamweight title up for grabs.
Now there are two key things to look at if this pairing comes to pass …
First, Tate has done exactly what she needed to do to earn another shot at Rousey. She won her past four fights, beat two previous opponents who also faced Rousey and just took out another top-five contender.
Second, another Rousey vs. Tate fight only shows once again why the UFC desperately needs to make a fight with Cris "Cyborg" Justino happen.
Typically speaking, when a fighter has lost to an opponent in dominant fashion on two occasions, they don’t get a third shot. Renan Barao probably will understand that notion better than most after suffering a second beatdown from TJ Dillashaw on Saturday night that effectively eliminates him from title contention until someone else in the bantamweight division is holding the belt.
Junior dos Santos actually holds a win over Cain Velasquez, but also has two quite brutal losses to the former champion, and chances are there never will be a fourth fight between the two heavyweights.
Now, it’s not Tate’s fault that she just keeps winning and no other legitimate contenders have stood out at 135 pounds, but it doesn’t make a third fight with Rousey any more interesting either.
Sure, we’ll get to live through another intense trash talking session between Rousey and Tate and they will cut a few promos that will get replayed on television a bunch of times, but really when it comes down to it, what are we going to learn before a third fight that we haven’t already learned the first two times?
It’s for that reason alone that the UFC needs to facilitate the fight between Rousey and Cyborg as soon as humanly possible.
White has stated that he believes a pay-per-view between Rousey and Cyborg could sell over 2 million buys, which would annihilate any show the organization has ever promoted. Whether or not that figure is actually true remains to be seen, but there’s little doubt that a fight between Rousey and Cyborg would have a lot more casual interest than a third fight with Tate.
None of this is meant to be a slight to Tate, who has put together an impressive string of performances, but even with her recent wins, it’s hard to imagine she’ll go into a third fight with Rousey with any better odds to get a victory than she did on the two previous occasions. Cyborg on the other hand might be the one woman left on the planet who has a legitimate chance of not only beating Rousey, but also putting her away in the same devastating fashion that she finishes all of her opponents.
The onus is on the UFC to find a way to make this fight happen because the time is now and if Rousey runs through Correia next weekend like most expect to happen, Cyborg is the only challenger left on the horizon with a chance to bring the most dominant fighter in the world back down to Earth.