Miesha Tate performed better than anyone who had faced Ronda Rousey to this point but still came up short in her bid to win the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship at UFC 168. After two losses to the champion, Tate finds herself in a bit of limbo.
Normally when challengers knows there's no chance at getting another title shot, they move to a new division. For Tate, that's not an option as the UFC currently only has a women's bantamweight and will be introducing a strawweight division in 2014.
That either means drastically changing her body frame or taking fights with the hope of Rousey being knocked off her perch. I don't believe Tate can lose that much weight to drop down, but there are still other avenues for her to take in the women's bantamweight division
Luckily for Tate, there are a number of women in the UFC that she hasn't faced that will provide fresh matchups for her career moving forward.
Liz Carmouche is a tough fight for anyone and is coming off a loss as well. There's also the chance for Tate to avenge her loss to Sarah Kaufman from 2009, and Germaine de Randamie is coming off a loss to Amanda Nunes.
Tate showed tremendous heart in surviving the early scrambles with Rousey and put on a Fight of the Year candidate with Cat Zingano. It's clear that she still has plenty left in the gas tank and remains one of the most recognizable faces in women's MMA.
The one issue I do see for Tate going forward is that if she's not facing either Rousey, Zingano or Sara McMann, she'll likely be against someone who isn't on the same level as her. She's obviously a great fighter, but she won't regain any lost ground in the division by taking on most of the fighters in the division.
But bills need to get paid, and I'm sure we will see Tate back in the cage as soon as she can regardless of whether or not Rousey is champion. And I think we can agree that it won't be a moment too soon.