UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate had the option of waiting around until the end of the year to face former champion Ronda Rousey for a third time, but opted to put her title on the line as soon as possible instead.
The moment Holly Holm lost consciousness from a Tate rear-naked choke and relinquished her belt to “Cupcake” at UFC 196, the women’s 135-pound title picture became crowded and blurry.
“I’m so excited that I get such a quick turnaround. There’s been so many times in my career that there’s been an eight-month layoff, a nine-month layoff, a six-month layoff; this is going to be a really quick turnaround,” Tate said while recently appearing on FOX Sports Live.
Tate felt that Nunes was the most deserving because she’s the only fighter ranked in the top four that isn’t coming off of a loss.
“I get to make my first title defense against what I feel is a very formidable opponent. She’s on a four-fight win streak. Not that many girls in the division – I think the only other one that’s on a real win streak is Julianna Pena, so she’s a very dangerous opponent,” said Tate.
While Nunes doesn’t carry the name value of some of the opponents Tate could have potentially faced, she brings a legitimate challenge to Tate’s title.
“She comes out with a ferocious pace. She has incredible leg kicks. She looks like she hits like a Mack Truck, and I believe she’s a black belt on the ground,” said Tate of her UFC 200 opponent.
“She presents a lot of problems, but that’s good because I want a challenge,” she added. “It’s a tall order. She’s definitely not going to be an easy feat.”