It’s something that Miesha Tate defied everyone’s expectations by lasting into the third round with Ronda Rousey at UFC 168. Rousey, who hadn’t entered a second round in her entire MMA career as both a professional and amateur, was forced by “Cupcake” into the third round before a brilliant sequence notched her another armbar win. The ensuing lack of sportsmanship from Rousey may have turned the rest of the crowd against her, as Rousey hadn’t been a fan favorite from the moment she walked down the aisle, but there’s something interesting about this fight that that could mark the point when someone figured out how to beat the current bantamweight champion.
Miesha Tate, in defeat, has designed the blueprint on how to defeat the “Rowdy” one.
Watching that fight was similar to watching UFC 82, where Dan Henderson showed the formula that Chael Sonnen nearly rode to a UFC championship. He showed that Silva could be controlled on top and that a good offensive top game, with plenty of submission defense, could work if you had the elite skill level of wrestling takedowns to pull it off. Its how many people expected Chris Weidman to win both times he fought Silva, as well, and in both fights he used similar tactics to take the first round from him.
Tate showed a guide to beating Rousey that could be implemented by the right fighter at the right time. She did five things someone will key in on and could potentially ride to a title win over Rousey.
1. Submission defense
The one thing Tate did exceptionally well was defend armbars and find ways to back out of the ground entirely from Rousey. To beat Rousey you can’t linger in her ground because it’s exceptionally lethal.
2. Keep her at a distance and make her pay for coming in to clinch
The one thing Tate did horribly was continually shooting in for takedowns on her feet. Why? She was winning the stand up war whenever Ronda wanted to throw down with her, that’s why. Rousey wasn’t nearly as invincible when it was a kickboxing match and Tate hurt her several times with her hands and feet. Ronda’s clearly vulnerable with her striking, which has gone from undeveloped to fairly average in a short amount of time. It won’t be a deficiency for too much longer at this point, however.
3. Refuse to play the ground game for long
Tate did really well in that she backed out of the guard and made Ronda stand up several times. She went for takedowns and got thrown to the ground repeatedly, of course, but the principal is solid. The handful of times she backed out and threw some leather she was winning the fight. When she went back to takedowns she was back in Rousey’s world, struggling to survive one of the best guards in MMA, but when it was just about striking she roughed up the champion.
4. Be tough enough to not break
Tate didn’t break this fight, you have to give her credit. A lot of other fighters would’ve given up in the second and tapped to that armbar, or given up one in the first, but Tate showed a ton of guts by refusing to quit.
5. Take her into deep waters
Rousey’s in excellent shape but the one thing Tate did well was make her full speed ahead style work against her. Ronda pushes a hard pace but doesn’t have the cardio to do it for five full rounds. No one has made her go more than one, hence we’ve never seen it before, but Tate correctly guessed that if someone could push her beyond the first they’d have a fighting chance because of the sheer volume of energy Rousey expends to get the finish early and often.
Tags: Miesha Tate, Mixed Martial Arts, Ronda Rousey, ufc 168