According to a Dec. 26 post from USA Today Sports, UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) expects Miesha Tate (13-4, 0-1) to be the "hardest" and "most prepared" opponent she's ever faced.
Rousey, 26, already fought Tate once, but she doesn't consider UFC 168 to be a rematch.
She knows their 2012 Strikeforce fight happened a long time ago and that Tate is a completely different fighter now.
"I'm approaching it like it's not even a rematch," Rousey says of her UFC 168 fight with Tate. "Miesha is going to be the hardest and most prepared opponent I've ever faced. I'm expecting her to come out better than she could ever be."
Rousey and Tate are set to fight in the co-main of UFC 168, which goes down on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Rousey says UFC 168 will be a brand new challenge, nothing like any of her past fights.
"Every single fight is brand-new to me," Rousey says. "That's why I hate holding the belt before fights. I feel like every fight, I'm the challenger."
Rousey has huge goals in mind, one being the chance to retain her UFC bantamweight belt by defeating Tate a second time.
"Big, giant, fantastic goals are what really focus me and make me the happiest," Rousey says. "If I just stayed at home and went into camp, I wouldn't have the same kind of motivation and drive that I would have liked."
Rousey and Tate have a real-life "beef" that helped hype UFC 168.
"It's not a joke. It's not an act," Tate said of her rivalry with Rousey. "It's not like when the cameras turn off we're buddy-buddy and she's respectful. No. She's flipping me off whether there are cameras there or not.
"Ronda Rousey is not someone I personally like representing women's MMA as a whole," Tate said. "Because you can see how she really is. ... It's all about Ronda and the Ronda show. She doesn't care how she comes off or how she represents women's MMA. It's going to be her way or the highway."