Everything went according to plan, as Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate both made weight at UFC 168's weigh-in on Friday, Dec. 27.
They came in at 135 pounds.
#UFC168 Weigh-In Results: Ronda Rousey 135, Miesha Tate 135— UFC on Xbox LIVE (@UFConXboxLIVE) December 28, 2013
The weigh-in went about as you'd have expected, and there were none of the fireworks that preceded their fight in Strikeforce. ESPN.com's Josh Gross reported that neither fighter was presenting an intimidating exterior.
No drama on the staredown. Tate held a smile and Rousey offered a smirk when they were done.— Josh Gross (@JoshGrossESPN) December 28, 2013
Fox Sports Live noted that of the two, Rousey received the more polarizing reaction.
Rousey met with a mixed reaction as she takes the stage. Safe to say...she probably doesn't care.— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) December 28, 2013
UFC posted a Vine of the champ's entrance.
Although the rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva is considered the headliner for the event, plenty of buzz surrounds the co-main event.
The two faced off previously in Strikeforce a year-and-a-half ago. Rousey needed 4:27 to lock Tate in the armbar and win the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Even with the one-sided nature of that fight, many are itching to see Rousey and Tate fight again.
Much of that anticipation stems from the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, in which the two coached against one another. During the show, Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole questioned how much Rousey's antics had hurt her public perception:
She didn't make many new fans during her coaching stint on "The Ultimate Fighter." She frequently came across as mean and petulant and constantly seemed to have a sneer on her face.
The fact that Tate beat her head-to-head in the first round of a fan-voting contest to be on the cover of a video game says much about the perception of her after TUF. To be fair, Tate campaigned to win the vote and Rousey did not, but the public outcry against her from TUF viewers was loud and clear.
Plenty of fans will be tuning in to UFC 168 to see Rousey get her comeuppance.
Tate only added fuel to the fire when she intimated that Rousey isn't the trailblazer she's often painted to be, via Fox Sports' Marc Raimondi:
Every single woman that fights MMA has done just as much work as Ronda has, we just haven't gotten as much turnaround. 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.
You know exactly what Rousey will try to accomplish in this fight. She'll look to get Tate on the ground and lock on that devastating armbar. It's how she's won each of the seven fights in her MMA career.
Will this fight go beyond the first round?
Everybody knows it's coming, but nobody has stopped it so far. As much as you can try and game-plan for how to defend it, Rousey works just as hard to make it unstoppable.
First and foremost, Tate must avoid the armbar.
Beyond that, it's anybody's guess as to how she could win. The challenger is the better striker, so she should look to tag Rousey early with a couple of blows. Nobody has seen the champ battle much adversity, so she may struggle when knocked back.
From there, Rousey may open herself up for the submission, and Tate could end the fight in a flash.
No matter how this bout finishes, it should be a great event.