UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has steamrolled her competition since making her mixed martial arts debut in March 2011. The Olympic medalist in Judo has finished every opponent by the same move, an armbar, in the first round. She seems unstoppable, but Miesha Tate sees it differently. She sees holes in Rousey’s game and plans to exploit them when the two rematch at UFC 168 on Dec. 28.
“There are always weaknesses in the game. I think a lot of people build Ronda up to be this invincible person and that there’s no way that she can be beaten. But I don’t see it that way at all. I see a lot of holes in her game and I see a lot of ways that she can be exploited,” Tate said on a recent media conference call.
“Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. You know what I mean? And I’m going to do something different on the 28th than anybody else has done. But yes, those holes are there. You guys saw it. I saw it,” she continued. “I don’t think it needs really any explanation. They’re there and they’re there waiting to be taken advantage of.”
Tate was on the receiving end of a Rousey armbar when the two first fought in March 2012. Tate was the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion and Rousey had turned pro less than a year prior. Only four fights into her career, many felt Rousey didn’t deserve to be fighting for the title and hadn’t earned it. All that flew out the window when Rousey isolated an arm late in the opening round and proceeded to dislocate it at the elbow. Rousey’s star was born, women’s MMA had a new face, and one of the biggest rivalries in combat sports emerged.
Looking back at the loss to Rousey, Tate views it as a learning experience and a lesson in fighting with emotion.
“Well, the mistake in itself in the fight was technical. But it happened because of the emotion. So I think that I was over emotional in the fight. And, I went out there, I kind of abandoned the game plan a little bit and I allowed her to play into her game plan,” said the 27-year-old.
Tate believes she’s more mature now and has grown as a fighter. The previous loss to Rousey has helped her prepare to avenge it.
“I just got sucked into all of it. I’m just, I’m more mature now. I’ve grown a lot as a person. When you lose, when you make a mistake, that’s why you make mistakes in life so that you can learn from it and become better and bigger and stronger,” she said. “And that’s what I feel like I’ve done. I don’t necessarily look at it like a mistake anymore. I look at it as a learning experience.”