When the UFC World Tour rolled into New York City, the dais featured four UFC champions and the fighters that would be challenging for those titles in their upcoming bouts. The two fighters that sat the farthest apart were UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, and the woman she will fight on December 28, Miesha Tate.
After witnessing the level of animosity between those two fighters, it’s hard to imagine that the on-stage distance between them was not carefully planned by the UFC beforehand.
It’s clear that Rousey (7-0) and Tate (13-4) do not like each other, and when Cat Zingano was injured and forced from coaching opposite Rousey in the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, the UFC was able to capitalize on the rancor and insert Tate in Zingano’s vacated coaching spot.
Zingano had been awarded the coaching gig after she defeated Tate on April 13 of this year. The fight, winner of “Fight of the Night” honors, was stopped in the third round after Zingano bloodied Tate with knees and elbows. Tate contested the stoppage, feeling that it came too early.
An injury to Zingano’s knee opened the door for Tate to step into the TUF house as a coach. The coaching spot also came with the bonus of getting a title shot against Rousey.
Rousey and Tate have met before in the cage. Rousey defeated Tate on March 3, 2012, taking Tate’s Strikeforce title in the process. Rousey defended that title once before the promotion was absorbed by the UFC, instantly being named the promotion's champion. Rousey has one UFC title defense on her record. Her upcoming bout with Tate will be her second defense.
Since losing the title to Rousey, Tate has gone 1-1, defeating Julie Kedzie, before losing to Zingano.
Rousey recently spoke to Rick J. Lee about Tate’s coaching style during the filming of TUF. It should come as no surprise that Rousey was not a fan.
Rousey and Tate will fight on December 28 in the co-main event of UFC 168. The bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A rematch between UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will headline the fight card.