At UFC 168, Ronda Rousey put her UFC women's bantamweight title on the wire against rival Miesha Tate.
The fight game doesn't often lend itself to things like moral victories. But Tate arguably earned a moral victory by taking Rousey into the third round before finally succumbing to Rousey's patented armbar.
Rousey controlled most of the fight with her heavy judo throws, trips and top control. She also displayed an improved striking game, bloodying Tate with a right hand and even a front kick at one point.
Tate held her own, though. She landed a takedown of her own and connected on several striking combinations. She also fended off several armbar attempts before the fateful submission attempt in the third round. While her defense was strong, it seemed it may have come at the expense of offense. Tate also frequently went for takedowns instead of opting for striking battles, where the odds may have been at least slightly more in her favor.
In any event, taking the champ past the first round was a measure of success for Tate. That perception was buttressed by the fact that Tate and Rousey each received $75,000 in extra bonuses for putting on the Fight of the Night, according to UFC president Dana White at the post-fight news conference. Rousey also received $75,000 for the Submission of the Night.
Rousey moves to 7-0 with the win, while Tate drops to 13-5. Tate has now lost three of her last four, though two of those came against Rousey and all came versus top competition in the sport.
The undisputed queen and face of women's MMA, Rousey nevertheless lost some fans with the erratic, antagonistic behavior she displayed while coaching against Tate on The Ultimate Fighter. The Las Vegas crowd at UFC 168 seemed to support that theory, cheering mightily for Tate while lustily booing Rousey at every opportunity. Rousey did herself no PR favors by refusing to shake Tate's hand after the fight.
It's clear, however, that fan opinion means little to Rousey, and that she is the best women's MMA fighter regardless of what the public might think of her. Here is a video highlights package from the fight, courtesy of our friends at Fox Sports.