I am not happy that Miesha Tate Vs. Amanda Nunes is the UFC 200 main event. That might be construed as a pretty loaded statement, if not internalized misogyny. Allow me to clarify my initial statement. That UFC 200, a landmark event, will see two women square off in the main event of the evening is groundbreaking. There was a time when UFC President Dana White declared that his company would never have women fighters at all. And yet here we are, preparing for a stacked card with loads of hype and future implications. And at the top of the hill is Miesha Tate, defending her women's bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes.
Still, I cannot for the life of me bring myself to be excited that this is the fight that will headline following the disastrous doping scandal that nixed the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier bout.First and foremost, it's a painful reminder that Holly Holm was robbed. She got cheated despite being the woman who rocked the MMA world with her upset over Ronda Rousey. She got cheated as the former women's bantamweight champion. Holly's a woman inexplicably forced to re-climb the ladder, even as the woman she beat (Ronda) will have a guaranteed crack at the winner of this fight at UFC 205.
It's hard to look at the Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes event and be nearly as enthusiastic as I would be if it were Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. With that fight, either Tate could have gone on to finally settle an old score against her longtime rival Rousey, or Holm would have forced Rousey to confront the humiliation she suffered at UFC 193, and then possibly move on from it. I would practically be vibrating from excitement. Amanda Nunes is so far out of left field that even now, I almost want to call shenanigans on her fighting Miesha Tate.I won't say that Amanda Nunes is a bad fighter because she isn't. Nunes is an up-and-coming woman's MMA fighter with loads of promise. She's currently on a three-fight winning streak.
It's just that I'm not convinced Nunes has what it takes to beat Tate at this point in time. Miesha is in a very interesting place in her career right now. She was long denied a chance at the women's bantamweight title. I'm actually convinced that she would have never gotten it if Ronda Rousey hasn't lost to Holly Holm. She studied Holly in ways Ronda didn't, only to give a masterclass performance that was clearly the culmination of disciplined preparation and ceaseless determination.
I wouldn't even be surprised if Miesha Tate was already looking beyond Amanda Nunes to UFC 205, and to what might be the most important fight of her career. However, I also believe that we'll see the same hungry Miesha that practically put Holly Holm to sleep. This is a dangerous woman, and unless Amanda Nunes gets a lucky K.O. (and a kick to the head at that), I really don't see or feel any suspense with this match. There's no genuine hype, nothing at stake that will tempt most to hang on to see the outcome of this last match.Of course, this is all just my immediate reaction to the change. As I said, it's great to see women's MMA getting a bit more respect. It's just hard not to be disappointed as a better fight should exist in the place of Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes. This moment could have -- and should have -- been so much more. The only upside to my current "blah" sentiment is that I was of a similar mind when it was announced that Ronda Rousey would be facing Holly Holm at UFC 193 rather than Miesha Tate.
I expected a quick win for Rousey because I severely underestimated Holm. Then Holly stunned me and practically everyone else that saw the fight. Could Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes surprise us all in a similar manner? I'm extremely skeptical, but won't entirely rule out the possibility. If Amanda Nunes does somehow shock us all by taking out Miesha Tate, it will create one of the most perplexing situations in MMA history: Three former women's bantamweight champions within several months, and not one rematch between them.
Do you agree with Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes being made the main event? Share your thoughts on this change (and the outcome of the fight) below!
[Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]