UFC 168: 3 Fights for Miesha Tate to Take Next

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Misha Tate  weighs-in for her UFC Women's Bantamweight Title Fight against Ronda Rousey (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

UFC 168 saw Miesha Tate challenge for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. The former Strikeforce champion took Ronda Rousey further than she had ever been before, but it wasn't enough.

She finally succumbed to the infamous armbar in the third frame.

Thanks to The Ultimate Fighter and her performance at UFC 168, she has gained more fans. While she has shown an inability to compete with Rousey in two fights, Tate continues to demonstrate improvement in her overall game.

Where does she go from here? Who does she fight next? Here are three options for Tate's next bout in the Octagon.


Bethe Correia

Correia made her UFC debut in early December by defeating and retiring Julie Kedzie. As a fellow veteran, Tate could try to exact revenge for her MMA comrade.

With a second defeat at the hands of Rousey, Tate is in no position to challenge for the title in the near future. This puts her in an awkward position; however, taking on a relative newcomer works on two levels.

First, it could be a bounce-back fight for her. If she outmatches Correia, then she'll get back on the winning track, continue improving and start to revitalize her standing in the division in 2014.

Second, the fight pits Correia with a top fighter to see where she stands. She displayed solid signs against Kedzie, and a battle with Tate would show her what the deep end of the pool looks like. Should she win, the UFC would have a new face at the top of the division.


Jessica Eye

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Jessica Eye during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

This should not be the UFC's first move, but it's not a bad one to make in the current landscape.

As previously mentioned, Tate won't be getting another shot at Rousey anytime soon. A win over Eye would remove another title challenger while not promoting another. That's a big risk.

Why should this fight happen then?

A victory by Eye would give her a signature win over the second biggest name in the division. It would make her a clear top contender in the division and a marketable one at that. It would potentially line up another solid fight for the title.

If the UFC wants to risk losing a potential contender, then it can make this fight. It's a good fight for Tate but not so much for the UFC.


Alexandra Albu

Albu is the UFC's best option for Tate's next opponent. She garnered a lot of interest on the Internet thanks to her looks, and as shallow as that may be, it does help market fights.

This fight could headline or co-headline a fight on Fox, Fox Sports 1 or the new UFC Fight Pass.

Neither woman would be close to a title shot with a win, but the victor would move into a high-profile slot within the division. It is a good showcase fight for the division, and one that has no big ramifications to try and sell it.

Albu is an unknown commodity. The UFC could challenge her right away with Tate. On paper, it is a risky fight for "Cupcake." A loss to an unknown would hurt her more than losing her third straight fight, but by losing back-to-back fights, she also shouldn't demand a top-tier opponent.

It's a marketable fight for the UFC, and it isn't an all-important one to put pressure on Tate. She will already have the burden of trying to win again. This fight would alleviate the pressure to some extent, which is what she needs.

Albu vs. Tate would sell itself and answer questions about both women.