Rousey Defends her Championship Against Tate in one of the most Anticipated Rematches in UFC History
For the first time in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, two women are coaches of The Ultimate Fighter reality television series. These women will then square off against each other when they headline UFC 168 on Saturday, Dec.
28 at 10 p.m. EST live on pay-per view.
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey will face challenger Miesha Tate for the second time in her career, but this time in the center of the octagon. The first bout was held back in Mar. 2012 when the undefeated judoka specialist (then challenger) submitted Tate via armbar in the first round to capture the now-defunct Strikefotce championship belt. Fast forward over a year later and now these ladies are not only pitted in a rematch but also coaching a team comprised of both male and female fighters.
To say that they absolute despise each other would be an understatement of epic proportions. Even their coaches and training partners are chopping at the verbal bit at one another. Originally slated to be a matchup with the 7-0 undefeated Rousey and the 8-0 Cat Zingano, plans went by the waist side when the challenger suffered an injury that required surgery.
In stepped Tate, who just happened to lose to Zingano for a chance to coach the Fox Sports 1 TV show. The move initially seemed like a ratings ploy to promote the new network and generate bigger numbers for the UFC. However, injuries do happen in the sport of mixed martial arts, more often than not these days. The Tacoma, Washington native just happened to be in the right place at the right time when she received the phone call.
Even though the event’s main event is technically a rematch between UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and longtime former champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, this women’s bout has all the makings of a true showdown between two female athletes with genuine disdain and hatred for each other. The problems started in Strikeforce with pre-fight verbal jabs leading up to their first encounter. Now several Twitter attacks and physical shoves later, it is safe to say that Rousey and Tate will stop at nothing to one-up the other come late Dec. in the state of Nevada.
After over 20 years in existence as the premiere MMA organization in all of North America, the UFC has finally let its female combatants lead the charge of the top-billed spot on its year-end show. There have been many rivals that have transcended the mixed-martial arts world and taken both the sport and organization to new heights, including Tito Ortiz/Chuck Liddell, Ortiz/Ken Shamrock, Brock Lesnar/Frank Mir and Silva/Chael Sonnen. None of them however has ever garnered the amount of media attention, fan viewership or mainstream coverage that this bout has nabbed.
Females at their highest physical and athletic peak are headlining a PPV in a male-dominated sport and it feels pretty good saying so. This bout and rivalry is slowly but surely breaking down gender barriers in mixed-martial arts and UFC President Dana White surely has a smile on his face as he counts the money being cashed in.
This fight will be epic and trust me when I tell you that you do not want to be the one who misses it. Whether you attend the event in person, order it on pay-per view, watch it at a friend’s house or even catch it at your local sports bar, UFC 168 will not be a spectacle that you want to hear from someone else or read about in an online recap. It will be epic and I surely cannot wait until it goes down.
In the famous words of UFC announcer Bruce Buffer, “It’s Time.”
By Brian Jerry