So much has changed since Ronda Rousey first fought Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce 135-pound title in March 2012. Female fighters are now featuring in the Octagon and the pair are both coming off high profile TUF coaching stints but the result was exactly the same with the champion scoring her eighth successive armbar win.
The animosity between Rousey and Tate was there for all to see during the reality show rendering their UFC 168 rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas a bonafide grudge match. The challenger was looking for her first UFC win after being stopped by Cat Zingano at the TUF 17 Finale while the champion brough a perfect record of seven armbar wins out of seven.
Tate danced into the Octagon with a smile on her face while Rousey looked furious and they went toe to toe right from the opening bell before the champion executed her first throw of the fight. Tate was able to work her way up only to be taken down again.
Tate was able to reverse the position and end up on top but Rousey’s legs were wrapped tightly around her upper body and the Judoka softened her up with elbows and punches while looking to set up a triangle or armbar.
Tate was eventually able to power out and land a hard left hook which Rousey countered with a straight right. The challenger was bloodied up but was still able to see the round through to become the first fighter in history to take Rousey to a second stanza.
In the second round Rousey executed another throw but this time Tate used up kicks to keep Rousey at bay and work her way back up. It was only a temporary reprieve though as she was immediately put down with another Judo throw after shooting unsuccessfully for a takedown.
Rousey’s Judo was the difference between the two fighters at this stage and she looked to capitalize on yet another successful throw by finishing the fight with an armbar. Tate’s arm appeared to be hyperextended but she survived only to end up in a reverse triangle.
The round finished with Tate trapped, but Rousey unable to find a way to convert the dominant position into a successful submission attempt. The third round follows a similar pattern with Rousey again dragging Tate down but this time she was able to sink in the armbar for a tap at the 50-second mark.
In an apparent gesture of reconciliation, Tate offered her hand to Rousey, who ignored her, stating afterwards that she was still angry because her opponent had insulted her family during TUF. The crowd booed heartily but Rousey, who appears to be embracing her new heel role, stated she wasn’t bothered.
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