People out there feel there are no rivalries in women's MMA.
Well, we finally have one.
It involves the current Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion, Miesha Tate, and newcomer Ronda Rousey.
Rousey, who is a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo, has gotten off to a 4-0 start, and all four wins have been by armbar. The feud with Tate started after Rousey defeated Julia Budd at the Strikeforce Challengers about 10 days back. Rousey appeared on MMAFighting.com saying that no one can compete with her on the ground and was ready to challenge Tate for the title.
Tate didn't take too kindly to Rousey's words, and the feud has been brewing ever since.
Tate was impressed with Rousey's performance at the Challengers show.
"I thought she had a good performance," Tate told me. "I thought she won impressively. It was nice to see that to see her go out there and put a good show for the women in the sport to prove we're just as capable as the men. We put on exciting fights, and I was happy to see her do that."
Rousey stated that no one woman can compete on the ground with her considering her background, and Tate had some very harsh words for the newcomer.
"I think it's stupid. i think that either she's not being herself and she's completely trying to hype the fight or she's an idiot. There are plenty of women who can give her a challenge on the ground, one of them being myself. I don't appreciate her arrogance to be honest. If she wants to challenge me and she wants to make it a ground battle, I'll be happy to give it to her and she's not gonna like it."
A lot of people are jumping on the Rousey train considering what she did in the Olympics and the start she's gotten off to so far in MMA.
Tate, while impressed, feels Rousey is lacking in a lot of areas.
"She went to the Olympics for judo, so she's a bronze medalist and obviously she's very accomplished there. I can't take anything away from what she's done in the cage. She's 4-0, all four wins by armbar in the first round. I have to say, I don't think she's really faced anyone with a strong ground game yet. Certainly not what I would consider on my level and also experience wise hasn't faced anyone as experienced as me in the sport. She hasn't been put in any positions where it would call to measure how big her heart is. How big is her determination? When is her threshold? When is her quitting point? I haven't found mine either. I know its been tested. But I've never came to the point where I was ever consider quitting.
I know I've been through my trials and tribulations, I've fought some of the very best in the world and she hasn't. She's kinda stepping into deep water and I'm not sure she's ready for that, honestly. I think she's gonna get more than she can chew. She's biting off a little more than she can chew."
Rousey has won all four of her fights by armbar and hasn't really been tested. Is she a one-trick pony? You be the judge.
"Well (chuckles), I'm sure she she has more in her toolbox than just an armbar. However I think that is her go to move obviously. Like I said, when someone gets put into a bad position or is being punched in the face or has to work out of a chokehold or an armbar of there own. I don't know if Ronda Rousy has that in her and I'd like to be the one to find out."
Rousey has been campaigning for the fight with Tate, as she feels it's the matchup to make right now and the fight would draw. Tate doesn't feel that is the case and feels there are two fighters who are more worthy of the opportunity.
"No, absolutely not. She's 4-0 and no she has not earned her spot at all in the 135lb division much less as a contender. I think it would be really disheartening to see the women that have been working at this sport for years and have records like 14-1. Sarah Kaufman whose beating all the top ranked 135ers pretty much and she's up for a title shot before Ronda, so is Alexis Davis. I think Ronda needs to ear her spot more. I think definitely she's riding too much on her looks. She's performing as well, but she needs to perform against girls. I would consider top contenders in the 135lb division before she starts spouting off that she wants a title fight. I think it's pretty absurd and ridiculous to be honest."
Out of Kaufman and Davis, Tate gives her take on who she feels should be the next title challenger.
"I would like to face Sarah Kaufman because I want a chance to avenge a loss. However fighting Alexis, is a great candidate as well. She's been beating tough girls in Strikeforce. She's 2-0 and I think she's like 11-4 overall and she's really tough. She's been making a name for herself. If that's who I fight next, I would be really honored to fight her as fight well. So either or are definitely head and feet above Ronda in my opinion as far as who deserves what."
The sport of women's MMA has been starting to make a little noise, and with the noise Rousey has been making, is she good for the women?
"Overall, I have to say she's good for Women's MMA because she's been drawing attention. It's always nice to have another pretty face in the mix. But I just think, she's just coming into this sport. She's really a baby and she's got to be careful. She kinda thinks she knows it all. She talks about marketing this and marketing that, but I mean I've been doing this longer than her. I feel like I have more experience. She's just gonna get chewed up and spit right out if she's not careful because coming in at 4-0 and not having a lot of experience.. If I go out there and just smash her, then that's nothing then.
What is MMA, if that's the only fight that can be promoted and she goes out there and loses and loses a lot of hype with it. I just think that fight can be built up a lot more. I think she can be built up a lot more. She kinda compares herself to Brock Lesnar, he was 4-0 and got a title. But Brock Lesnar was a freak and had millions of fans and she doesn't. All her fans are coming from MMA. I don't even think Brock Lesnar should've earned that title shot. But he did. He had a huge following coming from the WWE. She's still just building up."
You can listen to the two-part interview with Miesha Tate here.
You can follow me on Twitter @fightclubchi.
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