The Rousey vs. Tate rivalry has officially been renewed as they will be coaching against each other on this September’s TUF 18. But when and where did the rivalry truly being?
First, we flash back to July 30, 2011 when Miesha Tate defeated Marloes Coenen with an arm triangle to officially earn her the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship. With this win, Tate became the “ONE to BEAT.”
Amidst the controversy created, when Strikeforce awarded Rousey the title fight against Tate, many felt Sarah Kaufman was the one that Tate should be facing as Kaufman had already defeated Tate back on May 15, 2009 by Unanimous Decision. But in the end no one could really argue Ronda’s extremely impressive streak, not to mention the respect she brought with regards to her Judo accomplishments on the both US and International levels. Strikeforce saw the potential of what Ronda had to bring and became the main event at Strikeforce’s Tate Vs. Rousey held at the Nationwide arena in Columbus, OH on on March 3, 2012.
Other notable fights on that Card were:
- Ryan Couture defeating Conor Heun by TKO (punches)
- Sarah Kaufman defeating Alexis Davis by majority decision
- Josh Thomson defeating K.J. Noons by unanimous decision
Ronda Rousey won the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship by defeating Miesha Tate at 4:27 of the 1st round by way of armbar submission. This win truly solidified Ronda as the #1 female fighter and can also be attributed to the meteoric rise of her career and WMMA in general. But the real fire that fueled this rivalry was started by Miesha Tate’s demeanour at the weigh-ins.
There was a lot said by both Ronda and Miesha leading up to the title fight, but when Tate pushed head first into Ronda during the weigh ins, it showed the level of intensity and genuine displeasure Miesha held towards Ronda. It was also speculated at that time that Tate wanted Ronda suspended for those transgressions, but no action was taken. Ronda went on to win and take the title from Miesha with a spine-chilling armbar. In case you haven’t seen it enough times, here is Ronda snapping Miesha’s arm in half again.
Needless to say the rivalry was established and the media was having a field day with it all. It seemed that every question involved something related to their new found rivalry.
After Ronda defeated Liz Carmouche at UFC 157, neither Zingano or Tate seemed to have anything overly positive to say about Ronda’s win. You could perhaps attribute that to them being focused on their upcoming fight and wanting to sound confident, or simply just wanting to add to Ronda’s obvious success. Either way their own story was just being wrote. Zingano officially defeated Tate to earn the right as the second coach with Ronda on season 18 of TUF.
In typical reality television style, we learned that Cat Zingano sustained a knee injury that required surgery, therefore was unable to coach on the TUF 18 reality show. Tate was secretly shuttled to the set of TUF 18 and hidden away from everyone until filming began. Obviously a made for TV set up to engage a on camera reaction.
A lot of people question why Tate was chosen to be the replacement coach, considering she just lost another fight, but anyone who watches reality TV knows that the rivalry they bring will create a lot of tension, animosity and competitive natures from both the coaches and the fighters.
“As far as why the decision was made, you’d have to ask Dana. Life unfolds in mysterious ways sometimes. But I can say in my heart that I really felt like I was supposed to be here.”
“Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other and this is a personal show. For some reason, I me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that.”
Rivalry’s are what push people and even companies to be better, and to keep themselves in check. Whether it is Coke Vs. Pepsi, Ali Vs. Frasier, or Leno Vs. Letterman, rivalries will always exist, and there will be people on either side looking to vindicate their stance. In the end we all know exactly how this will play out… as we have seen this unfold before. Same story, same ending.