In the aftermath of season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, upcoming UFC women's bantamweight title challenger Miesha Tate is riding a marked rise in popularity heading into Saturday's rematch with Ronda Rousey.
"Every single woman that fights MMA has done just as much work as Ronda has, we just haven't gotten as much turnaround," Tate told FOX Sports on Monday. "Those women who came before her haven’t been on magazine covers, they weren't plastered everywhere by the UFC. They didn't get the same reward back. She got 10 times back what she was putting in and maybe everyone else was getting 1 to 1 ... "I know what it was like to be fighting for breadcrumbs and not to be taken seriously. I didn't just jump into this. It's no disrespect to Ronda, she's a great athlete. But there's another side to the story that people aren't seeing. Girls didn't get the same things Ronda has gotten ... A lot of fans out there have the WWE mentality. Those are the fans that fell hook line and sinker and loved her. She was that controversial one, that s**t talker, she started drama."
Despite a 1-2 record in her past three fights, "Cupcake" has stated on several occasions leading up to her UFC 168 title tilt that Rousey bested her in their first meeting because she let her emotions get the best of her, per the Las Vegas Review Journal.
After coming out the aggressor and taking Rousey's back early in their March 2012 encounter for the Strikeforce bantamweight title, Tate eventually succumbed to a particularly gruesome version of the Olympic bronze medalist's armbar.
Since then, Tate scored a come-from-behind submission win over Julie Kedzie and lost a somewhat disputed bout to Cat Zingano at the TUF 17 Finale in April.
However, Tate was granted another shot at Rousey when Zingano was unable to coach this season of TUF due to a knee injury that required surgery.
Will Rousey finally close the book on this nearly two-year rivalry on Saturday, or will Tate upon the door for a third bout by pulling out an unforeseen upset?