We learned early last night that the UFC on FOX 16 co-main event featuring Miesha Tate versus Jessica Eye would be a title eliminator bout (meaning that the winner would face the champ), so the stakes when the door to the Octagon shut were high.
And when Tate ate punches while trying to find her range and rhythm, and then proceeded to beat the stuffing out of Eye with a few stunning right hands and a dominant ground game, it slowly became obvious who would be earning that shot at the belt. It was Tate, Tate who scored the most, who did the most damage, and who earned the decision when the scorecards were read. Tate would be next in line.
But assuming that Ronda Rousey successfully defends her crown against Bethe Correia at next weekend’s UFC 190 (of course she will – why am I even suggesting otherwise?), does anyone really want to see Rousey and Tate fight for a third time? It’s not like the first two meetings left any room for speculation. In 2012, Rousey broke Tate’s arm in the first round to win the Strikeforce belt, and Rousey tapped her again with an armbar in the UFC almost two years after that.
Granted, Tate lasted into the third round that time – longer than anyone else had lasted against Rousey before – but so what? Has Tate gotten that much better since then? Has Rousey somehow gotten worse?
Sadly, there is literally no one else who seems worthy of a title shot, never mind being able to make Rousey break a sweat. We’re left with just cobbled-together storylines (such as Rousey and Tate’s history of not liking each other) and the cold, hard fact of the champ’s dominance to sell fights.
I don’t want to see Rousey and Tate fight again, but what other options are there?