Trick question, uh, no. It’s difficult to believe anyone can stop Ronda Rousey at this point in her career. Every fan of MMA knows the arm-bar assassin and her dominant reign over the women’s 135lb division in the sport over the last few years. Yet it seems many have forgotten en leiu of UFC 168.
Since Rousey has been coaching TUF 18 alongside her bitter rival in Miesha Tate, an interesting shift in paradigm has occurred. While everyone knew Rousey disliked Tate, no one expected or apparently appreciated the amount of anger and out right rage she exhibited towards Tate throughout the show.
Here’s where I get a little lost in translation. Now that fans have fallen out of love with Rousey, how does that change their perspective on her ability to win fights? Remember, she snapped Tate’s arm before and no one has proven they are capable of defending the arm bar, much less, someone who has already learned this lesson the hard way.
Here’s another history lesson for those with short term memories, Miesha Tate is currently experiencing a losing streak. She lost her last fight by TKO to Cat Zingano ironically at the last TUF Finale in April. She’s also lost before by decision to Sarah Kaufman in Strikeforce in 2009 and before that to Kaitlin Young by TKO in 2007.
She shouldn’t even be here. Maybe she is better at posing for the camera’s and maintaining composure in front of her opponent, but that’s merely a testament of her status in the sport. She’s essentially earning a title shot the same way Nick Diaz and Chael Sonnen did against Georges St Pierre and Jon Jones. That’s because what all three contenders have in common, is that they are not contenders. At least they shouldn’t be considered the next in line for a title shot when they were coming off a loss.
But with hype and charisma comes opportunity in the fight game, shamefully, even at the highest levels. Such is the case for Miesha Tate once Zingno became injured and the UFC chose to go with the women she beat to earn her spot as a coach on TUF, as a replacement.
If anything, the UFC showed their lack of faith in Tate because if they thought she truly was the #1 contender, they would’ve allowed her the ability to win a fight or two and make a stronger argument for a shot against Rousey.
Where Rousey has everything to lose and is an absolute killer at the top of her game, Tate seems happy to still be invited to the party. This sounds a bit harsh, but after watching Tate on TUF, it seems obvious she is more concerned with her image than beating Rousey. If this was American Idol, acting pleasantly fake would be apropos.
Was anyone concerned with Rampage Jackson’s or Rashad Evans’s sex appeal when they lost composure on camera when they absolutely hated each other on their stint on the Ultimate Fighter? No, of course not.
Rousey may have lost the popularity vote to Tate at this point, but rest assured, when the cage door shuts, it’s a whole new ball game folks. One that Rousey has learned will make it difficult for her opponents to remain competitive, when she takes their arms.