At UFC 200, Miesha Tate will make her first title defense as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Not against arch-rival Ronda Rousey. Not against former champ Holly Holm, who Tate beat to capture UFC gold. Not against Cat Zingano, who holds a win over Tate. Instead, she’ll face Amanda Nunes at the big event in July.

Is it the right call?

Let’s just say that it’s the fight the UFC needs right now, even if it’s not the fight the division deserves.

Here’s the deal: there are bigger fights, more deserving of an event as big as UFC 200. Ronda Rousey’s name immediately comes to mind — but she will not be ready until sometime in the fall. Holly Holm also comes to mind, but lets be honest: an immediate rematch would have been questionable even discounting the fact that Holm’s agent, Lenny Fresquez, appears to be on Dana White’s hit list. Not to mention that fact that the UFC as a business would no doubt rather see Rousey fight Tate, whom she has defeated twice, then risk losing a second straight fight to Holm.

Cat Zingano’s name would also be in the mix, were it not for the fact that she has not fought since losing in fourteen seconds to Ronda Rousey (Zingano must be praising Conor McGregor for taking her name out of the record books as the fighter to suffer the quickest defeat in a title bout and replacing it with Jose Aldo). Coming off a loss, a title shot would be questionable — though Tate herself was once gifted one, when none other than Zingano fell to injury — but she does hold a win over Tate, which would make it an interesting fight. Instead, Zingano will appear on the UFC 200 card against Julianna Pena, which would potentially be a title eliminator, were Rousey not waiting in the wings.

Which leaves the bantamweight division with Nunes, given that Cyborg Justino has yet to make it to 135lbs. And that’s just fine. It’s never a bad thing to have fresh blood in a title fight, and Nunes is on a decent win streak at this point. She’s a dangerous fighter, 5-1 in the UFC, and a heck of a lot more deserving than Bethe Correia was when she talked her way into a title fight against Ronda Rousey.

So yes, frankly — Nunes is the right choice. The only reason it’s even a question is that we’ve become so accustomed to the UFC doling out title fights seemingly at random, or at least due to name value. In this case, the right person got the nod.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.