The Good Morning America announcement on Friday morning that UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey would fight boxer/kickboxer Holly Holm wasn’t exactly met with universal enthusiasm.
Instead, the UFC 195 event is viewed as something of a slap in the face to Rousey’s long-time rival Miesha Tate. The UFC site lists Tate as the division’s current number one contender. So why was she passed over for a rematch?
Rhonda Rousey's next opponent has been announced. How will she fare against Holly Holm on January 2nd? pic.twitter.com/6gZXtT0Acm
— SportsAsToldByAGirl (@SportsAsTold) August 21, 2015
According to the Los Angeles Times, White passed on a Rousey vs. Tate fight because MMA fans have seen it before.
“We were talking about Miesha from the start, then as we started sitting around we were saying, ‘Everyone has seen the Miesha fight already…A third fight in a rivalry usually comes after the stuff we’d see in [Arturo] Gatti-[Micky] Ward. With Miesha, the result has been the same twice. Everyone’s already seen that fight.”
This observation is a tad bit misleading.
Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate’s most known encounter followed their turn as coaches on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. The Ronda/Miesha rivalry began during their time in Strikeforce. Rousey defeated Tate with a first-round armbar submission in March 2012.
While a rematch would technically suggest a trilogy, it doesn’t seem to feel that way to UFC fans, who (if they missed the Strikeforce bout) have only seen the two women fight once. As Rousey (12-0) continues to dispatch opponents with ease, there’s been an increased clamoring for a rematch against Tate — the only UFC opponent to go longer than one round with the current champion.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) August 21, 2015
It doesn’t help that a Rousey/Tate fight was on the table prior to the GMA announcement. MMAJunkie said that Tate was preparing for the fight and hadn’t been notified of any changes. The sudden decision led to a backlash among UFC fans. Challenger Holly Holm has also received a great.
Weight management coach Mike Dolce, who reportedly worked with Ronda in the past, came to Holly’s defence.
“It’s a much more competitive fight than people would say… I see [Holm] getting bashed on the Internet. Who do you bash this young lady? Because she’s worked her tail off to get where she’s at.”
Holly Holm is currently undefeated, but so was Bethe Correia. Ronda defeated Bethe with a 34-second knockout. Outside of a surprise upset against Ronda, there’s nothing about Holly to suggest she’ll offer as much of a challenge. A Miesha fight seems the only solution to the question of whether or not Rousey is being protected from a possible loss.
Do you think Dana White is avoiding a rematch to aid Ronda Rousey? Do you think the Miesha Tate “diss” is overblown? Share your thoughts below.
[Image Credit: Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]