Ronda Rousey versus Miesha Tate had all the makings of a hot bout. Not hot as in "Wow look at these smoking babes about to fight," although I don't deny that is a very real part of the appeal. Hot as in "Man, I really want to see these two athletes settle this beef."
When Rousey won her last fight in November, once again dismantling a hapless opponent with world-class judo, she called Tate, the Strikeforce 135-pound champ, out. There was no blathering "I'll fight whoever they give me" speech from Ms. Rousey. She came after Tate with guns blazing.
The resulting hubbub almost broke the Internet. Former champion Sarah Kaufman watched a rematch with Tate go up in smoke. Tate accused Rousey of using her good looks to get the fight she wanted—and proudly admitted that was true.
The two went back and forth on Twitter, in interviews, on television. It was exciting and fresh. Women's MMA had never seen anything like it and the buzz surrounding the fight exceeded anything we've ever seen.
In January, Strikeforce announced the fight for this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
And then the show just continued forward. The two were a constant presence in the MMA press. The issues were argued and re-argued, then argued again. Today, you couldn't get me to click on a Ronda Rousey or Miesha Tate interview if you promised they would show up at my house in person to deliver a soliloquy.
The two needed to allow some time for the beef between them to simmer. Give the fans a chance to miss them, so they could come back to an audience demanding more. Instead: burnout.
It's still a great fight. It may be, as Strikeforce President Scott Coker suggests, the biggest fight in women's MMA history. But it isn't as hot going into March as it was in January.
Tate and Rousey, simply put, peaked too soon.