UFC fighter Miesha Tate may have emerged from the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter as a more likable figure than Ronda Rousey, but that fanfare won’t help her much when she enters the cage against the undefeated women’s bantamweight champion.
From a storyline perspective, Tate has a lot going for her heading into the fight. She’s the popular, well-mannered princess taking on someone perceived as mean, cocky and ill-tempered.
She’s talked a lot about Rousey getting “exposed” on the show, and suggested Rousey is “emotionally unstable.”
The talk won’t be in the cage with her against Rousey. Instead, Tate will have to figure out a way to solve the Rousey Rubik’s Cube and do what she already failed once at. Can Tate stop the female Mike Tyson? Here are three things Tate must do to give her the best chance at victory.
3. Jab and Run in the First Round
Rousey has never been out of the first round. If Tate wants to win a moral victory early, she needs to take Rousey out of her comfort zone. Anyone who gets close to Rousey gets taken down. Tate needs to pull a Daffy Duck and get on her bicycle. She needs to land from the outside like Larry Holmes and counterpunch like Floyd Mayweather Jr. She needs to not worry if the fans boo. Rousey will want to close the distance and Tate needs to pie-face her and get out of the way. Rousey looks great, but if Tate will have any chance she will need to get Rousey tired and avoid her takedowns.
2. Keep the Fight Standing Up
Tate needs to act like Rousey’s a flammable explosive that if she touches she will erupt in flames. Rousey took Tate down easily in the first fight. Tate must do everything she can, kick, punch, sprawl and evade Rousey’s clench. There’s really only one way Tate can win this fight, or get the advantage; she needs to turn the fight into a straight-up kickboxing/ boxing match. Tate needs to watch the Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum fight from June 2011 to see how Overeem skillfully avoided Werdum’s Jiu-Jitsu. Tate must be perfect if she wants to win and perfect involves turning the fight into a stand-up, do-or-die war. As soon as the fight goes to the ground, Rousey will likely armbar her,
1. Hit Rousey In The Face, Often
Can Rousey take a punch? We don’t know. She took a couple of good shots from Tate in the first fight, but not a lot of them. Everyone’s indestructible until he or she gets smacked around a few times. Can Rousey fight back after getting rattled? Tate needs to keep the fight standing and catch Rousey with a right hand as she’s coming in. Rousey may not be the same wicked warrior if she tastes Tate’s power. Rousey is no Kimbo Slice, but remember what happened when Seth Petruzelli hit him in the face? It took 14 seconds.
Tate needs to jab, dance, punch and counter-punch, kick and counter-kick and hope Rousey tires, allowing Tate to finish the fight with a KO. If the fight goes to the ground, Tate will be in big trouble.