Rousey vs. Tate 2: Identifying Cupcake's Best Strategies for an Upset

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 28, 2013

April 13, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miesha Tate prepares to face Cat Zingano during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UFC president Dana White told Fox Sports that if Miesha Tate beats UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 168 on Saturday in Las Vegas, it would be the second biggest upset in UFC history.

What's the first?

According to White, Matt Serra's knockout win over Georges St. Pierre in 2007.

We can debate the largest upset win for hours, but none of it matters unless Tate somehow pulls off the victory. It is definitely a long shot, but if it happens, these three strategies are what Tate needs to employ to get the job done.


Leg Kicks

The biggest problem every woman who has faced Rousey has encountered is the inability to hurt her with strikes. The predominant belief is that Rousey's stand-up game is her weakness, yet none of the seven opponents she's faced have been able to exploit it.

Perhaps the reason for that is that every opponent has attempted to land head shots. Attacking Rousey's legs with persistent, but well-timed leg kicks could weaken her base and slow her pursuit.

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche during their UFC women's world bantamweight championship bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tate would be wise to add this wrinkle to her game on Saturday night.


Knee Strikes

August 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA;    Miesha Tate (white shorts) fights Julie Kedzie (black shorts) in their Strikeforce MMA Women's Bantamweight Bout at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When fighting Rousey, the clinch is inevitable. Her opponents tend to resort to dirty boxing, or simply trying to pull away from the grapple.

It would be interesting to see how Tate would fare if she employed knees to the midsection—or even to the head when locked up with Rousey in the stand-up.

Rousey is always in attack mode and attempting to close distance. At some point, a successful opponent has to give her something to worry about.



This is essential since all of Rousey's opponents come into the Octagon worried about the armbar. The moment she has them in a position that remotely resembles the hold, panic sets in.

Any chance of maneuvering out of Rousey's clutches is done at that point. Tate is likely a goner if the champion gains an advantageous position on the ground. Miesha will only compound the problem if she loses her cool at the first sign of trouble.


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