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Ronda Rousey retains UFC title with third-round submission of rival Miesha Tate

Mixed martial arts: Glendale Fighting Club's Rousey defends UFC championship despite getting her toughest test to date.

December 28, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Ronda Rousey defended her MMA title at UFC 168, defeating rival Miesha Tate with a third-round submission on Saturday night at hte MGM Grand. (Raul Roa/File Photo)
Ronda Rousey defended her MMA title at UFC 168, defeating…

LAS VEGAS — “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey winning by armbar has been a familiar ending to every one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion’s fights.

On Saturday night at UFC 168 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Arena, the ending was just the same as every fight before, but the journey getting there was far more arduous.

After a riveting first two rounds, Rousey was able to secure an armbar submission against archrival Miesha Tate 58 seconds into the third round of their co-main event bout to defend her championship.

Rousey, cornered by Glendale’s Edmond Tarverdyan, Gene LeBell, Martin Berberyan and Rener Gracie, remained undefeated at 8-0 with all of her bouts ending via armbar submission.

Just after Tate (13-5) tapped out and the bout ended, Tate extended her hand to Rousey, but the Glendale Fighting Club-trained fighter walked away, refusing to shake her rival’s hand.

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Boos poured down thereafter, as well as during Rousey’s in-cage postfight interview with Joe Rogan.

“In judo, I didn't know what a cheer was, cheers are what's new. I took the name ‘Rowdy’ after ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper because he was such a great showman. I wanted to put on a good show,” Rousey said. “I respect Miesha very much as a competitor, but I can't respect a fighter who did what she did and I cannot shake her hand because of it.”

Tate, who was a huge underdog and became an overwhelming fan favorite, was quick to give praise to the champion, however.

“I have no excuses,” said Tate, 27. “She was the better fighter tonight.”

Saturday night’s fight concluded a 2013 for Rousey, 26, that was a year full of firsts. In February, having already been crowned the first UFC women’s champion, she won the first-ever UFC women’s fight by submitting Liz Carmouche in the first round.

Later on, she was announced to be the first woman to coach on UFC’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter.” Opposing her would be Tate, who lost her Strikeforce title in March of 2012 to Rousey in their first meeting.

In their second bout, though, Tate became the first fighter to extend Rousey past the first round. And it was a riveting first round, as the two exchanged punches, takedowns and submission attempts amid an electric MGM Grand atmosphere.

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