It’s crunch time for Miesha Tate. With no end in sight to the reign of Rousey, and Tate being 0-2 against her divisional rival, it’s now or never for her to earn another crack at Ronda — because if not now, Rousey may at some point be gone, or just too far out of reach.

Miesha Tate has long been a top fighter at 135lbs. She’s a pioneer of women’s MMA, a former Strikeforce champion, but one who lost to the wrong person at the wrong time: Ronda Rousey. Rousey took her belt, and walked straight into the UFC with it, where she was awarded the UFC women’s bantamweight title without even being required to win a fight. Of course, she’s now defended that belt several times, once in a rematch against Tate, so Rousey has more than earned her spot, but for Tate, it still has to sting.

The fact remains that Tate is still Rousey’s toughest test to date, the only fighter to ever push her out of the first round. That makes Tate a compelling fighter. Every bit as tough as Rousey, every bit as marketable, just not able to beat her. She’s a solid number two, or she has been, at least so far, a loss to Cat Zingano not withstanding.

Now on a two-fight win streak with unanimous decision victories over Liz Carmouche and Rin Nakai, Tate is poised to set herself up for a third crack at Rousey. Standing in her way is fellow former-title challenger Sara McMann, and they headline the preliminary portion of UFC 183.

What does “Cupcake” need to do to secure the victory?

Stay Off Her Back

Miesha Tate has a pretty solid wrestling base, but Sara McMann has an Olympic silver medal in the discipline. She’s one of the best wrestlers in women’s MMA, and Tate needs to avoid the takedown, because McMann’s control from the top is just too good. Having McMann on top of her for a round or two could be devastating to Tate in this fight.

Utilize the Jab

Miesha’s striking isn’t the best in the division, but it isn’t bad, and it should be enough, if executed properly, to keep Sara McMann at bay. She actually has a decent jab she likes to use, and that’s what she should be looking for here. It will help keep her out of takedown range. And while she’s not a knockout artist, she can be an effective volume striker. Just stay out of sloppy brawls!

Be Ready To Go The Distance

A full three rounds is a strong possibility in this fight, and Miesha Tate needs to be prepared for it. Physically, she should be, as she’s never really displayed any stamina issues, but mentally as well — Tate needs to remain focused throughout a full fifteen minutes and not start throwing wild, looping punches if things start looking iffy. Frustration can be a killer; Tate needs to be cool, calm and collected in this bout. These are two fighters at the top of their game, and executing the right game plan with a level head will play a huge part in winning the fight. In that sense, this fight is about who the more mature fighter is.


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.

  • srichey321

    Interesting matchup. Miesha definitely won’t have top control in this fight, but she does have a better submission game.