Miesha Tate (18-5), the reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion, will defend her title against Amanda Nunes (12-4) at UFC 200.
Reporter Ariel Helwani hinted at the match via Twitter, saying he had heard from “multiple sources” that Nunes would be next in line for the bantamweight crown.
I’m told Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes is currently in the works for UFC 200, per multiple sources. Expect an official announcement shortly.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 7, 2016
He confirmed the news on the Fox Sports 1 show UFC Tonight.
Originally, former bantamweight champion and longtime Tate rival “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was slated to challenge the newly-crowned champion for her belt.
Tate however told UFC Tonight that Ronda would not be back until November or December. The champ also explained why she believed Holm, who had also pleaded her case to be first in line for the belt, would have to wait her turn.
“Holly, it was her first defense, she wasn’t successful. It’s not like she was a long-reigning champion, and I finished that fight. So I think the most dangerous woman is Amanda Nunes.”
For Amanda Nunes, the match must be a dream come true. After her decision win over Kyrgyzstan’s Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196 (the same event where Tate won her belt), Nunes begged UFC president Dana White for a shot at the bantamweight gold.
Apparently, White got the message.
The Lioness’ win over Shevchenko, though, is only her most recent in the three-fight win streak she is riding in the UFC. One of her most notable wins came over former bantamweight title contender and Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann, whom Nunes defeated via rear naked choke in the first round of their match at UFC Fight Night 73 last year. The win earned her a Performance of the Night.
Tate and Nunes may be looking forward to their upcoming match at UFC 200, but one person who does not seem to be excited about it is former bantamweight championship contender “Alpha” Cat Zingano, who is ranked third in the women’s bantamweight division.
Cat holds TKO wins over both Nunes and Tate, and she has been calling for a shot at the champion since last month. After the UFC 200 announcement, Zingano tweeted some subtle jabs at her employer’s decision.
She also retweeted her supporters’ reactions to the Tate vs Nunes match-up.
Others, however, are not so supportive of Cat. In his article last month, MMA reporter, Jesse Holland, wrote that Cat Zingano is not only coming off of a loss, but she has not fought in over a year.
“While not an automatic disqualification, No. 3-ranked Zingano — who stopped Tate amid mild controversy in 2013 — is coming off a loss and has not competed for over a year, so it’s not unreasonable to think she needs to compete at least once before getting another title shot. And I can think of another top contender coming off a loss.”
The UFC may have been thinking the same thing when it decided to make Rousey, and then Nunes, the next challengers for the bantamweight title.
The newly-announced fight between Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes is only one match on what promises to be a stacked card. Other matches include a rematch between featherweight champion Conor McGregor and lightweight Nate Diaz and a heavyweight match between former champion Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne.
Interestingly enough, the card will also feature and interim featherweight title match between Frankie Edgar and former champion, Jose Aldo. This is the first time the UFC has had an interim championship match while the champion was fighting on the same card.
UFC 200 will go down at the T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2016.
[Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]