Miesha Tate is under a lot of pressure these days leading up to her match against Holly Holm, especially since UFC President Dana White said in an interview that the outcome of the fight could lead to the rematch of the century.
Tate will take on Holly Holm in March, just four months after Holm defeated previous champion Ronda Rousey in a shocking fight that left Rousey headed for the hospital and fans unseated. And while Tate has various strengths on her side, there’s no getting around the fact that her loss at UFC 196 would mean big things for the organization.
“If Holly Holm should win, the Holly-Ronda Rousey rematch is going to be the biggest fight ever in UFC history — if that rematch happens,” Dana White said on the Jalen and Jacoby Show last week.
That’s not to say that White doesn’t think Tate is up to the task. He also noted the issue with the Rousey/Holm fight, saying that Ronda went in using the wrong techniques, and that Tate just might have what it takes to dethrone Holm.
“Ronda went in against Holly Holm and tried to box with a boxer. Whereas Ronda’s game should have been going in and using her judo. Well, Miesha Tate will go for low singles, double legs, she’s going to try and wrestle Holly Holm. She’s durable, she’s got a great chin, and stylistically this is a very tough matchup,” White said.
Holly Holm agrees, saying that Miesha Tate will be a totally different fight than the one she had with Rousey.
“Miesha Tate’s a whole different fight than Ronda. Every fighter’s different. I feel she has a pretty well-rounded game, she’s kind of one of those scrappy fighters from any position,” Holm said.
Meanwhile, there’s been quite a bit of confusion as to whether or not Rousey and Holm would fight again even if Holm does win the match against Tate — both women have said they are down with a rematch, and Rousey said recently that it’s all she thinks about. But for the moment, she’s off to focus on her film career, which includes a starring role in the Road House remake, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be ready to fight again for several months. Not only that, Rousey told ESPN in December that physically, she wouldn’t be ready for a while.
“It might be three to six months before I can eat an apple, let alone take an impact,” Rousey said.
Rousey took a big hit after her loss, facing harsh criticism from peers and fans alike, even though it was her first. The athlete and actress took to Instagram later to address it, posting both inspirational quotes and images that seem to sum up where she is at the moment.
Despite the loss, many believe Rousey will be able to come back from it and beat Holm in a rematch. Some, however, don’t think it will happen. Laila Ali, daughter of iconic boxer Muhammad Ali, says she believes the same thing will happen again, if not worse.
“I personally do not think that she’ll beat Holly Holm. I think that if she fought her again, then the same thing and worse will happen. Holly Holm was just getting warmed up. You know what I’m saying? She was just getting warmed up. She had nerves, too. This was her big moment,” Ali said in a recent interview.
The big question at the moment, however, is whether Holm or Tate will come out the victor in March. Tate says she feels confident that she can do what needs to be done, which is the difference between herself and Ronda Rousey.
“I don’t see myself breaking ever in a fight and I think Ronda was broken in that fight. It’s just different. I think I’m more comfortable on the feet and not to say that I think I’m a better striker than Holly, I wouldn’t venture that far by any means, but I think I’m more patient and I don’t think I would be quite as desperate to run in like a bull chasing a matador,” Miesha Tate said.
[Image by Atsushi Tomura/Stringer/Getty Images]