The rivalry between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate has been brewing since late 2011 when Ronda Rousey was barely 4 fights into her Mixed Martial Arts career and called out the then reigning Strikeforce Champion, Miesha Tate. Their rivalry only continued to heat up after they fought for the Bantamweight title the following year, with Ronda Rousey walking away as the victor. In spite of the trash talk and the goading Ronda Rousey’s appeal with fans only continued its meteoric rise. That is until Miesha Tate replaced the injured Cat Zingano to coach The Ultimate Fighter oppose Ronda Rousey. Ronda Rousey was suddenly seen in a different light and she was quickly painted as the villain of the reality series, while Miesha Tate benefited with a growing fan base.
The overwhelming attitudes towards Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate were completely transparent when they fought at UFC 168, with Ronda Rousey walking out to boos for the first time in her MMA career and Miesha Tate receiving more cheers than ever before. While Ronda Rousey didn’t help endear herself to most fans following over her victory over Miesha Tate at UFC 168, I undoubtedly walked away from that bout appreciating Ronda Rousey that much more. In a sport where we’ve become accustomed to seeing two fighters verbally rip into one another in the weeks leading up to the fight only to hug it out afterwards, claim that there was never any real animosity and that they were simply hyping the fight, it’s all the more refreshing when someone actually sticks to their guns. Sure, it’s nothing sort of spectacular to see two combatants embrace after beating each other bloody only seconds before but it’s become something special to know that you weren’t sold a lie.
After their fight came to an end Miesha Tate extended her hand to Ronda but Ronda turned away refusing to shake Tate’s hand. During the post fight interview Ronda explained that it would be an insult to her family if she were to shake Tate’s hand after the comments that Tate made concerning her family. While it would have been nice to see the two of them bury the hatchet the fact of the matter is that the bad blood still exists. Ronda wasn’t belligerent or insulting when she spoke about Tate as an opponent, she was consistent with her actions and spoke with candor, and I can help but respect that.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a third fight between the two of them considering that Ronda Rousey soundly defeated Miesha Tate in both of their fights but I’m doubtful that this is the last we’ll hear about the grudge between them.
Ronda Rousey is scheduled to face a fellow Olympic medalist, Sara McMann, on February 22nd at UFC 170. The story going into that fight is much more focused on the two of them being high caliber athletes with complimentary styles rather than how much they dislike each other. After that being the focal point for week after week on The Ultimate Fighter it’s refreshing that the narrative is, who’s the better fighter.