Ronda Rousey-Miesha Tate II has arrived

Mixed martial arts: Glendale Fighting Club's Ronda Rousey defends her title Saturday, with teammate Manny Gamburyan also on blockbuster card.

December 27, 2013|By Grant Gordon,
  • UFC champion Ronda Rousey, left, stands next top contender Miesha Tate. One will walk away a reigning MMA champion on Saturday night. (Raul Roa/File Photo)
UFC champion Ronda Rousey, left, stands next top contender…

It’s debatable that there have perhaps been more anticipated or more monumental bouts in the history of women’s mixed martial arts than the first time Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate faced off inside the cage under the Strikeforce banner.

When then-women’s MMA poster girl Gina Carano took on Cris Cyborg in 2009 or when Rousey defended the Ultimate Fighting Championships women’s bantamweight title against Liz Carmouche earlier this year, both bouts had plenty of hype and plenty on the line.

Thus far, though, the Rousey-Tate feud has been the defining rivalry as it relates to women’s MMA and it will come to a head once more Saturday night, as Glendale Fighting Club’s Rousey and archrival Tate square of inside the octagon’s caged confines for the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the co-main event of UFC 168 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

It is a feud that dates back to 2012 in Strikeforce, was renewed and taken to another level during tapings for the past season’s “The Ultimate Fighter” and has subsequently involved both fighters’ camps, including Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey’s lead cornerman, and Bryan Caraway, Tate’s boyfriend and corner.


For Tarverdyan and his stable, it’s a rivalry they’re looking to close the door on — emphatically.

“Ronda is a professional athlete. She knows exactly what she’s doing and she won’t be emotional in there. So, even with all the stuff that’s went on with [the opposing camps] and on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ that won’t affect her,” Tarverdyan said. “I want it to be past [us]. They’ve been going back and forth since the [first] title fight and [Tate] knows [Rousey’s] better. I just want Ronda to beat the s--- out of her and let’s be done with it.”

Rousey-Tate II, a scheduled five-round bout, is part of a blockbuster card that some predict to be the largest event in UFC history thanks in large to the main event: a UFC middleweight title rematch between titlist Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, the former champion and arguably the finest MMA fighter of all-time.

“I think it’s the best fight card that’s ever been put together by the UFC,” Rousey said.

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