In the back half of 2011 and the early part of 2012, it was the fight in Strikeforce. Not the women's fight, it was the fight.
Ronda Rousey versus Miesha Tate.
Rousey was the brash challenger, dropping from 145 pounds, with a collection of armbar victories and a desire to become a champion, heading to bantamweight to take on Tate, the dignified champion, a hard worker who didn't understand how her next challenge would come from a person talking her way to a title instead of winning her way there.
And it delivered.
The two spat venom at one another in interviews, openly stated how personal the fight was and promised violence when they were allowed to throw fists instead of verbal jabs.
It was as hyped as anything Strikeforce ever put on television, and it ended with Rousey officially arriving as a superstar as she snapped Tate's arm in half and became the champion.
Not even a year later and the two are under contract with the UFC, roles reversed, and Tate is likely a win away from getting her shot at redemption.
So what should we expect if Tate is successful against Cat Zingano and earns her second chance at Rousey? Absolutely nothing short of what the first fight delivered, that's for sure.
Rousey and Tate absolutely hate each other. That hasn't changed. While there was a relative downtime in their feud immediately after their first meeting, they've rarely shied away from the occasional Twitter dig or backhanded compliment since.
This time you can expect Rousey to want to make a statement and finish Tate even more violently, while Tate will want to prove that she's more than just a shockingly tough, pretty face and look to offer up more resistance than she did the first time out.
The beauty of it is that Tate truly believes she can beat Rousey, and Rousey already has a win over Tate to prove that it works the other way. Given Tate's grit, experience and skill though, it's hard not to think she might be on to something.
And for the UFC? Well, they can expect a seismic event in terms of their fanbase when these two meet again.
The male demographic will do just about anything to see these two beautiful, highly skilled mixed martial artists go at it one more time—especially given the promotion that will happen and the history the two have together.
They'll likely see increased female interest too, as Rousey-Tate II would be promoted even more substantially than Rousey-Carmouche was, and it's probably the biggest female fight the UFC can make right now.
Buckle up, folks. If Tate is next for Rousey, things are going to get interesting.
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