Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (13-4, 0-1 UFC) vs. Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey (7-0, 1-0 UFC)
The co main event of UFC 168 and quite possibly the biggest fight in women’s MMA history, Tate vs. Rousey is a great fight. It reminds us of how far WMMA has come and now with the full promotional muscle of the world’s top MMA promotion behind it and a full season of TUF to give it momentum this fight should be huge.
After a lifetime spent wrestling before adding submission grappling and MMA to her repertoire, Miesha Tate is now in her physical and professional prime. A full fledged MMA veteran fighting since 2007, Tate has the skills, the experience, and the look to help take this ting to another level.
-Tate’s lengthy wrestling career has given her a very solid foundation from which to build. She has outwrestled almost all of her foes thus far (19-4 in takedowns last 9 fights) and usually does so by driving opponents to the cage and snatching up a double. She can be quite relentless in pursuit of the takedown and has no problem shooting, re-shooting, and then shooting again to get it.
-Miesha made the logical progression after wrestling and competed in the FILA submission grappling competitions. She excelled here winning the Nationals twice and taking a silver medal at the world championships. This gives her a great combination of wrestling and grappling and some world class experience which was evident in all 6 of her slick submission wins.
-Cupcake rounds out her skills with some outstanding strength and conditioning. She goes hard from bell to bell and it is her conditioning that allows her to be so tenacious. It also allows her to withstand some pretty severe punishment and come back to win in dramatic fashion.
One thing that is particularly worrisome about Miesha is the amount of punishment she has taken in her career. Kaitlin Young, Marloes Coenen, and Julie Kedzie all put pretty good hurtings on her and while it was impressive to see her persevere, it will have to stop if she is to have longevity. She has the cardio to support her high work rate but she is not what you’d call efficient in the cage and against a specialist like Ronda that can be bad.
Ronda Rousey came to MMA in 2011 after a very successful career in judo. She competed at the highest levels of the sport but came up short on a number of occasions of reaching the absolute apex. She made a seamless transition to MMA and now in only her 8th pro fight she is headlining a card under the best fighter in MMA history.
-Obviously Ronda’s strength is her takedowns and grappling, but it actually goes much deeper than just her judo background. Ronda has been working towards a judo gold medal since she was a little girl thanks to her mother who was a world champion judoka. But aside from judo Ronda has trained extensively in catch wrestling with her friends at the Hayastan Academy, BJJ with Eddie Bravo and the Diaz brothers, and Greco Roman wrestling with her coach Leo Frincu who is a former Jr. World champion in the art. She is a bona fide super grappler.
-Immense physical strength and stellar conditioning serve to make her technical ability that much more devastating. She is a superb athlete with exceptional strength, flexibility, and balance.
-Her belief in her self, particularly her belief that she will beat Tate easily, makes Rousey’s confidence at an all time high at the moment. A confident fighter is a dangerous fighter and a handful for anyone to deal with.
For all her accolades Ronda has some definite weak spots in MMA. Her relative inexperience can certainly be exploited under the right circumstances. There is also the issue of her striking which is rudimentary at best. I am sure she plans to address this but these things take a lot of time to sow up in a sport like MMA.
These 2 talented ladies obviously possess a ton of skill and the ability to win this fight. Rousey was dominant in their 1st match and in her other fight since then but Tate believes she will win the rematch based on adjustments to her strategy and preparation. Rousey is a deserved favorite but I find it intriguing that the champ’s weaknesses are strengths of the challenger and Tate does have the ability to shut off her lights. Even still, I’m picking Ronda to win after she is forced to see the 2nd round for the 1st time ever and pushed harder than before. Ronda wins by 2nd round armbar.