Though the match has yet to be confirmed by the fighters or the promotion, MMAWeekly and MMAJunkie are both reporting that Miesha Tate will defend her Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title against fast-rising prospect and Olympic judo bronze-medalist Ronda Rousey in Columbus, Ohio, on March 3rd.
Tate is riding a six-fight win streak, but hasn’t competed since July, when she won her belt by submitting Marloes Coenen via fourth-round arm-triangle choke. A relative newcomer to the sport, Rousey had all four of her professional fights last year, winning each one by armbar in under a minute. But all those fights took place at featherweight or above, and this will be the first time she’ll compete at 135.
Because Rousey’s first fight in her new weight class is a title fight (see also: Keith Jardine), Miesha Tate has made it clear that she doesn’t think Ronda deserves the opportunity, telling FightHubTV:
“I would have no problem fighting her. My only qualm with her is she is 4-0, 2-0 for Strikeforce. She’s challenging in a weight division she hasn’t competed in yet, and I just don’t think at 4-0, she has earned her title shot. She hasn’t beaten any top contenders in the weight class.”
Tate previously dumped a barrel of haterade on Rousey during an MMA Hour appearance in November:
“What happens when she gets a failed arm bar and someone ends up on top pounding her face in? Is she going to tap out or quit? We don’t know. We haven’t seen that yet. I think it’s kind of silly to put her in with me because that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take it to her. A lot of people are underestimating me. That’s fine. That always seems to be the case. Make no mistake; if Ronda is my next fight, I’m going to come in with a vengeance you’ve never seen before, because to be quite honest, it’s probably going to piss me off…If you weren’t pretty, it wouldn’t matter what you said or didn’t say. That’s why you’re getting this attention. I don’t know, I guess I personally like more of a humble approach.”
So yeah, this should be a good one. Though as Ronda tweeted herself last night, “I haven’t signed anything nothing is official everybody calm down.”