Tate (18-5) is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, which includes submitting Holm in the fifth round of their UFC 196 co-main event to capture the title. Following the victory, UFC president Dana White had stated that Tate’s first defense would be against Rousey, who lost the title to Holm in November of 2015. Tate has lost in both of her previous meetings with Rousey. But with Rousey not expected to return to the Octagon until November of December of this year, the UFC shifted gears.
While most pundits thought the UFC would turn to Holm, they instead opted for Nunes as Tate’s first defense.
Nunes (12-4) has won her last three bouts, including wins over Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, and Valentina Shevchenko. She is currently ranked No. 4 in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings.