The first time Miesha Tate faced Ronda Rousey, things did not go well for her. Yes, she lasted longer than any of Rousey’s previous opponents, but that small victory did little to salve the hurt of losing her Strikeforce title to the young upstart.
That March 2012 fight ended with Rousey slapping on her patented armbar. The proud and stubborn Tate refused to tap to the hold even as her arm was extended at a horrifying angle. That refusal to tap left Tate with a dislocated elbow and a permanent place on Rousey’s victory highlight reel. When the two meet again on December 28, Tate hopes that rematch will end in a much different manner.
Speaking to Karen Bryant on UFC Tonight, Tate said:
I’m hoping it will go way different. The first part of the last fight was awesome and was really competitive, but the end was not what I hoped for. I feel like she can only do that so many times before someone figures it out. I believe I’ll be the one to do it. She has motivated me in more ways than I thought I could be motivated. I think because of the rivalry, it’s made me that much stronger and that much more willful. I just want to train and to beat her so bad because I don’t like her on a personal level, but I do respect her as an athlete and for what she’s accomplished. She was able to take everything that meant anything away from me, and I want to be able to do the same to her.
Tate was not originally scheduled to face Rousey, now the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, but an injury created a huge opportunity for her.
Cat Zingano defeated Tate in April of this year, earning a coaching spot opposite Rousey on the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter, but an injured knee knocked Zingano from the show. With Zingano out, the UFC looked to Rousey’s nemesis to step into the fray.
As Tate said, she does not like Rousey on a personal level, and Rousey has made it clear that the feeling is mutual. Rousey has also had some choice words for Tate’s boyfriend, UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway. In June, the champion said that she would love to “beat the s**t out of” Caraway, but that he seemed like “the kind of b**ch that would sue me. Big time."
The shots at Caraway did not go unanswered by Tate:
I would assume she can’t keep a man around for any period of time, so I would probably imagine she’s pretty jealous that Bryan and I are both pretty successful fighting in the UFC and going on seven years. So she can’t keep him out of her mouth.
Tate and Rousey will meet on December 28 in the co-main event of UFC 168. The upcoming season of TUF, with Tate and Rousey coaching opposing teams of male and female bantamweights, will premiere on Fox Sports 1 on September 4.