A sure sign of a dominant athlete is when the crowd cheers for something, anything, which the underdog does, no matter how small or insignificant. Ronda Rousey has been so dominant in her short MMA career that the crowds have had very little opportunity to cheer against her. On December 28, at UFC 168, Miesha Tate gave the crowd a few moments to cheer for against Rousey, but Rousey showed once again that she is simply the most dominant female fighter in the UFC.
The fight started much as the first one between these champions did, with the fighters meeting in the middle of the cage. Rousey quickly established a strong clinch and worked Tate to the ground. Rousey immediately began looking for a submission, which allowed Tate to work her way out to top position and got the crowd fired up. However, Rousey showed that even on her back she is simply too good, as she battered Tate’s face with punches and elbows while working for a submission. Eventually Tate got out of danger and survived to see the second round.
Tate was bloodied and battered but she had a smile on her face as the second round started. The second round saw more of the same as Rousey work her way in, get the clinch and throw Tate multiple times. Tate had one moment where she almost had Rousey in a reverse triangle, but Rousey quickly escaped and resumed her dominance on the ground. Tate did well to avoid the submissions, but she was never really able to mount any offense.
The third round showed even more of the same, with Rousey quickly tossing Tate to the floor. However, Tate managed to reverse position with a good scramble. During the transition, Rousey found her signature armbar position and pulled Tate across her body. Once back on top Rousey extended Tate’s arm, leaving Tate no choice but to quickly tap.
This was the longest fight of Rousey’s career, but the reality is that it was not a close fight. Tate fought hard and well, but she was clearly no match for the incredible athleticism and elite judo skills that Rousey possesses. Rousey dominated this fight almost the entire way. Tate was forced to fight defensively almost every second of the fight, even when she was in Rousey’s guard.
Tate seemed resigned to this reality after the fight. At the post fight press conference Tate sounded like she was intent on retiring, even though she is still young and has a lot of opportunities in terms of big fights ahead of her. However, like Rich Franklin with Anderson Silva, Tate just does not have that extra gear that Rousey has. Rousey is the best in the UFC, period.