There’s plenty left for Miesha Tate

Elias Cepeda

Miesha Tate said leading up to her title shot against Ronda Rousey at UFC 168 that if she were to lose to the champ by arm bar submission as she did the first time they fought in 2012, she'd shoot herself in the face. Clearly, losing often spells disaster for professional athletes.

Losing twice to the same person in the same fashion, even more so. Losing two straight overall was certainly not a prospect that Tate was looking forward to either, since she'd lost by TKO in her prior fight, against Cat Zingano.

So, it's no wonder that Tate looked beyond disappointed last night being interviewed by Joe Rogan in the Octagon after submitting to another Rousey arm bar, this time in the third round. However, if Tate is up for it, physically and mentally, and if the UFC is smart enough, the 27 year-old could very well still have a bright fighting future ahead of her.

For one, Tate fought much better and looked quite improved from her fight against Rousey in 2012. Whereas it took "Rowdy" under one round to wrench and tear up Tate's arm, this time Miesha hung tougher and lasted deep into the fight before succumbing to the Olympian.

Tate had her moments, especially in the first round, where she hit Rousey harder and more frequently than she had ever before been hit in a fight and also scored her own take down. More than the fact that she's clearly improving as a fighter, however, there's two very important reasons the UFC should not only keep Tate around, but continue to feature her prominently.

Miesha Tate is almost always in the fight of the night and she is wildly popular. More to the point, fans like Tate and she's always exciting to watch fight.

After her turn as a Ultimate Fighter coach opposite Rousey, Tate has endeared herself to scores of UFC fans. After her UFC 168 loss, she was cheered and Rousey was booed.

The UFC has lucked out and now has more than one female star on it's roster. That star fights like a beast, to boot, is improving and is still young.

Most times fighters who have lost two fights in a row or more are in danger of being released by the UFC. In Miesha Tate's case, the promotion would be foolish to let her go.

Rousey is fighting again in less than two months at UFC 170 against fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann. Cat Zingano is still injured but Dana White has said she's next in line for a title shot when she returns.

In the meantime, the UFC should let Tate recover from her latest battle, put her back on the promotional circuit, signing autographs and doing interviews. When she's ready to return, Tate has earned one or two fights against an up and comer after so many top contender and title fights of late.

Tate's presence on a card against anyone is now likely to bring some extra attention to it in its own right. Should "Takedown" be able to string together another couple wins against more unknown fighters, then she'll be right back in title contention.

If she loses to some of those lesser known fighters, they will suddenly become more recognizable by virtue of having beaten Tate. It's a win-win for the UFC as a promotion.

Who do you want to see Tate face next? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias Cepeda on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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