For those of you that follow the Roundup, you know one of the fights I was most looking forward to this year was the 3rd showdown between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. But on August 21st, Rowdy Ronda announced that her next title fight would now be against Holly Holm… in November… in Australia. The news surprised quite a few people but none more than the #1 contender.
Last week, our friend Elias Stefanescu from German MMA news outlet, Ground and Pound, caught up with Miesha and got the full scoop on her reaction to the announcement.
It’s an excellent interview. Miesha addresses quite a bit:
- From Zuffa’s explanation for why they didn’t tell her first to just how this incident is going to completely shift her relationship with them;
- She also clarifies that she had never agreed to fight Amanda Nunes next;
- And makes an excellent point about how she’s not the champion but is being asked to fight higher ranked opponents than the champ.
If you have not watched it yet, you should definitely go check it out. Right now.
Miesha also appeared on Fox Sports to address the issue saying that she understands the business decision to go with Holly but doesn’t agree with Dana White that another loss to Ronda would end her career. While she was there, Miesha also stated that she’d be happy to fight Cyborg at 140lbs but only inside the UFC octagon.
Now, to be completely honest, when it was announced that Jessica Eye vs Miesha was a #1 contender fight I felt that we all knew that was only true if Jessica won. That Zuffa would begrudgingly let Miesha fight again cause she had “worked her way to the top.” But that was really not their plan. They wanted Jessica to win and they needed a big win to justify why she should fight Ronda. So the minute Miesha won that fight, I laughed cause Zuffa had painted themselves into a corner.
But Zuffa has proven once again that it will do whatever the hell it wants to and we (fighters and fans) are just along for the ride. Justifications for why they chose Holly are unnecessary in my eyes. They feel that that’s the fight they can sell and thats what they’re going to do. That’s the end of it for me.
But what does that mean for Miesha? Does she risk further complications by pushing back against them? Does she explore other outlets like the infamously rumored Bellator 125 division? She stated that she’s in a weird place in her career right now, and she’s going to have to figure out what exactly that means for her.
It’s a dangerous time for Zuffa, as fighters now have other lucrative options. But the reality still exist that fighters will never have as much exposure elsewhere as they get in the UFC. But who knows? Things happen. We all thought Cat Zingano was going to be on a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. Zuffa might end up in the position of asking Miesha to step in again. She’s obviously still a valuable asset to them.
But there are solutions to Zuffa’s predicament out there. And not to discount all the work Miesha has put into the 135 division, but she has stated multiple times that she would fight at 125 if it was an option. So maybe it’s finally time for the UFC to take the idea of women’s flyweight division very seriously.