Tate has fought Rousey twice, coming up short both times. She is coming off of a loss to Nunes in an unsuccessful first title defense in her last outing in July. “Cupcake” knows each of their strengths and weaknesses.
“I feel like there’s so many weird variables,” Tate said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “Who knows what we’re going to get out of Ronda when she comes back.”
Rousey hasn't fought since losing the belt to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015 by knockout. There are some unknowns surrounding Rousey's return to the Octagon, but if she comes in on Dec. 30 in top form, Tate believes she'll recapture the 135-pound championship.
“If we’re getting Ronda at the best she’s ever been, then I say Ronda,” she said. “But if we’re getting Ronda coming back kind of with a half-ass mentality, kind of like I have to do this one time and she’s got a lot of ring rust – I mean, is she still punch-shy since Holly?”
Nunes possesses a heavy right hand that can change the complexion of a fight in an instant. It's something Tate has experienced. If Nunes lands a clean shot on Rousey, Tate believes it will present problems.
“Amanda has incredible power in her right hand. So, if she hits Ronda with one of those, I can see it being a huge problem for Ronda, a big, big problem.”
While Tate believes Rousey will win if she shows up in top form, she admits that the bout's outcome is hard to predict.
“It’s kind of hard to say honestly (who will win). I really just don’t know what we’re going to get with Ronda. I know what we’re going to get with Amanda. I just have no idea what we’re going to get with Ronda,” she said.
“A long layoff can definitely have some adverse effects on coming back and getting right back in there with the best of the best. I guess we’ll kind of see how it all plays out.”