Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate have spent the better part of the last year locked in a bitter feud. Rousey defeated Tate in March 2012 and in the process earned the Strikeforce Women's Championship. Since that time, "Rowdy" was brought over to the UFC as its inaugural women's bantamweight champ and Tate followed shortly after. The heated battle between the two nemesis came to a boil during the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the rematch was set.
Tonight, in front of a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., the two fiery females finally settled their long running beef, and Examiner.com was in attendance to take in the night’s action.
“Cupcake” entered the Grand Garden Arena to the sounds of Katy Perry, and the champ followed to the sounds of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” A chorus of boos rang down as Rousey entered the arena -- it was obvious who the fans wanted to see strap UFC gold around their waist.
The opening stanza was far more spirited than most anticipated. Rousey took the round, and even landed a few nice strikes along with her textbook judo throws, but Tate fought hard and even earned a few dominant positions. Midway through the first, Rousey had Tate in a fairly tight armbar attempt but “Cupcake” was able to survive and weather a ground attack from Rousey to reach the second round.
The second round was a Ronda Rousey seminar on ground fighting.
For the majority of the round, Rousey tossed Tate at will and controlled the action wherever the fight went. Rousey undoubtedly hunted the armbar for the majority of the five minutes but came up just short in her efforts.
The third round changed all that.
Early in the third, Rousey rushed Tate and pressed her opponent against the cage, and in the process, took the fight to the ground. During a scramble Tate tried to evade Rousey’s ground attack and “Rowdy” locked up an armbar. It was tight, but there seemed to be room to escape. However, for Tate, the pressure from the submission was enough, and she was forced to tap.
The end came at: 58 in round three via armbar submission for the victor, and still women’s bantamweight champion, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
As the two fighters separated, Tate offered her hand to Rousey as the champion was looking to rise from the canvas. Rousey declined, and the crowd in attendance took it as disrespect. With that, they showered the 8-0 fighter with a chorus of deafening boos.
“No, man. When I did Judo I got booed a lot,” said the victorious 26-year-old after being asked if the fan reaction bothered her.
Rousey went on to explain her still-fresh dislike for Tate, and thanked her family, friends and coaches for getting her ready for this historic co-main event title tilt.
Next Tate took to the mic as the crowd roared in approval. There was no doubt who was the fan favorite at UFC 168. And in her post-fight speech, Tate seemed bit more respectful than her contemporary,
“She showed up and I didn’t,” said the fallen challenger. “I have absolutely no excuses. She was the better fighter tonight.”
This marks Tate’s third loss in four fights, and her future remains uncertain at this point. Although, there is little doubt that she remains beloved by her legions of fans, judging by the overwhelming show of support she garnered seconds after the defeat.
For Rousey, this victory allows her to put the past behind her and focus on a new endeavor. And whether the fans like it or not, Rousey is still the most polarizing figure in women’s MMA -- with her undefeated record, brimming confidence, and armbar submission streak intact, there is little chance of that changing anytime soon.
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