UFC 168: Miesha Tate Has No Shot vs. Ronda Rousey, or Does She?

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2013

March 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ronda Rousey punches Miesha Tate during the Strikeforce Grand Prix final at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ronda Rousey's championship run started back in March 2012 in Strikeforce. She marched down the runway in Columbus, Ohio, put Miesha Tate in the armbar and walked out as champion.

Many had felt, including Tate, that Rousey didn't deserve the title shot, that she had only gotten the title shot based on her mouth and that she leapfrogged contenders such as Sarah Kaufman.

Regardless of why she got the title shot, she proved she deserved it.

March 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ronda Rousey wins her match against Miesha Tate by using an arm bar during the Strikeforce Grand Prix final at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

She made quick work of Tate and dislocated her elbow in the process. Rousey followed that up with two more armbar victories—one over Kaufman and the other in the first-ever UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship fight against Liz Carmouche.

Tate, on the other hand, has gone 1-1 in two hard-fought bouts. She was nearly knocked out against Julie Kedzie but came back to win via her own armbar, and she was leading on the cards against Cat Zingano before being taken out in the third round.

Based on recent performances and their first fight, does Miesha Tate have any shot against Rousey?

The oddsmakers will tell you not really, and they're right. Rousey is as high as a minus-1,000 favorite. Those odds are accurate.

Let's be clear: Miesha Tate is a quality, well-rounded fighter. And, naturally, anything can happen in a fight. Tate has a puncher's chance against Rousey.

A very slim puncher's chance.

Tate is primarily a grappler. She has a wrestling background, and she loves to take her opponents to the mat. That is not going to work against Rousey. Tate has to rely on her striking in this bout, and she is not the best striker. She has put in more time in MMA than Rousey has, but the gap between them is all but closed. In fact, Rousey's striking ability may have already passed Tate's.

That leaves "Cupcake" with little outs in this fight.

Rousey has not shown her striking in the cage yet because there's been no need. However, video of her striking in the gym shows steady improvement. She has been laser focused—not on power shots or punches but on head movement and footwork.

Tate has to keep this fight standing or at the very least get lucky with a takedown of her own. She has to fight the perfect fight. And that is remarkably hard to do against someone of Rousey's caliber.

All the champ has to do in this fight is to get close. Once she gets her paws on Tate, it is over. There is next to nothing Tate can do to avoid being tossed to the mat. "Rowdy" is that good.

There is a reason that she was an Olympian. Tate is not on that level in that particular position.

And we have all seen what happens when Rousey puts an opponent on the mat. The fight is over relativity soon thereafter.

Fueled by hate, the champ will show us a more vicious Rousey.

Tate is in a lot of trouble come UFC 168 on Dec. 28. The fight is a terrible matchup for her, and her one hope may be that Rousey's hatred will lead to a mental lapse at some point. What is more likely is that Rousey will put on a dominant display of violence as she seeks to make Tate suffer.