Like it or not fight fans, Miesha “Cupcake” tate is once again fighting for UFC gold.
The former Strikeforce champion earned the next shot at the UFC women’s bantamweight champion after coming up on the winning side of a decision over Jessica “Evil” Eye at UFC on Fox 16, July 25. It was a fight that went like most of Tate’s previous wins. Eye got a burst of offensive but Tate was able to retaliate and control the fight.
This win brings Tate’s UFC record to 4-2 (17-5 overall). All four of her wins have gone the full 15 minutes, which critics point out as “lackluster.” Some folks see Tate’s No. 1 contender status as sign that there is a lack of depth in the UFC women’s 135-pound weight class. Personally, I think we’d see Tate fight for a title in the future.
Throughout her career, Tate has fought top competition. She hit her stride in Strikeforce where she won a world title, a tournament championship and picked up wins over top competitors like Julie Kedzie, Zoila Frausto and Marloes Coenen. After she won the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title from Coenen, she was poised to be the next face of the women’s division – that is until a loud and brash up-and-comer named “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, who has success in the women’s 145-pound division, dropped weight to challenge Tate for the title. Rousey would later submit Tate via armbar to claim the Strikeforce belt.
Tate later met Rousey in a rematch, losing via armbar in the third round and becoming the first fighter to take the Rowdy one past the first stanza. After “Cupcake” defeated Eye, many were already speculating on the outcome for Rousey vs. Tate III. Like James T. Kirk and Khan Noonien Singh, Rousey and Tate are destined to meet again.
Of course, there’s the possible monkey wrench that could ruin Rousey v. Tate III – Bethe Correia, who challenges Rousey for the title at UFC 190. Correia is undefeated though many believe that champion will make short work of the Pitbull. Even if Correia defeated Rousey for the title, the build-up for her and Tate would be entertaining as the two have traded verbal jabs in the past.
But if you’re a fight promoter, Rousey vs. Tate III is a dream. UFC President Dana White has compared this rivalry to Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. The verbal barbs and insults have cooled off – and both ladies have a begrudging respect for each other – but it doesn’t take much for these two to get back into the mix.
Some argue that Tate has no chance to win the third fight because she’s already to 0-2 against Rousey. On paper that may give her a disadvantage but over the years there are fighters who have dropped the first two fights against an opponent and have come back to win the third.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson lost the first two bouts against Wanderlei Silva in Pride, only to finish “The Axe Murderer” in the octagon. In January, lightweight title contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone – who had defeated Myles Jury two weeks earlier – was 0-2 going into the third fight with Benson Henderson, only to grind out a tough decision.
Tate has also cemented her place near the top – No. 1 or 2 – of the women’s 135 division and fans believe that she would beat Cat Zingano in a rematch. But it’s not about who is the No. 1 or No. 2. It’s about who is the championship gold and Tate – who will no doubt watch UFC 190 with close eyes – is gunning for that top spot.