Miesha Tate missed out on a golden opportunity in a controversial loss to Cat Zingano at the The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale on Saturday night.
Had she won, she would have had a chance to coach opposite Ronda Rousey on Ultimate Fighter. Instead, it is Zingano who now gets the opportunity.
That opportunity obviously means lots of extra airtime and the ability to increase a fighter's brand and earning power. It also means a title shot against Rousey.
While it is hard to fathom why Tate wants another shot at Rousey, considering what happened the first time they fought, she did want that opportunity, and she feels she got cheated out of the chance.
Tate won the first two rounds against Zingano. However, Zingano got the upper hand in the third, and the fight was stopped via a TKO.
Stopped too early or not, it is clear that the former women's Strikeforce bantamweight champion needs to quickly get her career back on track.
Heading into this bout, Tate had just one loss in her last eight fights. That was the loss to Rousey.
She was in a position to solidify her status as Rousey's main rival. As women's fighting grows, this promises to be a lucrative, albeit painful position.
With this loss, however, Tate quickly finds herself on the wrong side of the relevancy scale. Tate must reverse this trend and do it quickly.
Tate remains a high-profile fighter in the industry, and her next bout will surely garner interest.
This affords her the opportunity to show everyone she is still a force to be reckoned with. She must get back in the Octagon as quickly as possible and be absolutely dominant in the process.
Anything less than that, and the perception will quickly turn to Tate being a fighter slipping from her prime, and that is not an easy perception to change.
This will allow her to stay relevant in the industry and keep her career on the upswing.
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