While the fight is far from a done deal, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker finally weighed in on the situation that’s been brewing between Tate and Rousey, and he says he has no problem with that fight happening.
Rousey moved to 4-0 as a pro recently, and immediately called for a fight with Tate afterwards. Tate responded that Rousey needed to get in line behind more established fighters like Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis.
Coker hasn’t signed the fight to happen, but it doesn’t sound like it’s out of the realm of possibility.
“Here’s how I feel about the Ronda (Rousey) situation, if you look at a MMA fighter you can’t just look at how many MMA fights they’ve had. Because how many matches in judo, how many competitive martial arts matches has she had? When you look at a jiu-jitsu fighter, you might only have 5, 6, 7 fights, but he’s a thousand jiu-jitsu matches,” said Coker on Tuesday.
“When you look at a MMA fighter, you have to look at the total package.”
Looking at Ronda Rousey, Coker sees a former Olympic Judo player with a medal to her credit, and a flawless 4-0 record thus far in MMA.
It’s not that dissimilar to former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, who had competed primarily in Sanshou matches prior to his MMA career. In his sixth pro fight, Le fought Frank Shamrock for the Strikeforce middleweight title.
“The level of experience and the combat skill that Ronda has is far greater than a beginning fighter that’s only had 2 or 3 fights. She is still young in her career, but with that Olympic experience and all those matches in Judo, it makes her very credible, very quickly,” Coker said about Rousey.
“To me, I’d have no problem putting that fight together because of all the past experience she’s had in the Olympics and Judo.”
Some have tried to peg the potential powder keg between Rousey and Tate as mostly built around hype instead of substance. Rousey has been very vocal in calling out Tate, and the champion has responded in kind.
Coker disagrees however saying that Rousey deserves a chance at a fighter like Miesha Tate because she has the skills to give her a good fight and may just defeat her.
“It’s not just media hype, Ronda’s the real deal,” said Coker. “She beat Julia Budd, who is a very seasoned fighter, had tremendous skills and tremendous experience, and Ronda went in there and did her thing.
“When you talk about Ronda, talk about somebody that’s deserving, that has the skill to be there even though the MMA record in cage fights might be limited experience.”
Currently, former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman would appear to still be next in line, but with Coker’s statements on Tuesday could that plan be shifting towards Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey instead?