In many ways, Meisha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey is the biggest Women’s Mixed Martial Arts bout since Cristiane Santos faced Gina Carano in the first-ever women’s MMA fight to headline a major event. With a combination of good looks and great talent, both Tate and Rousey have quickly catapulted to the forefront of MMA. Recently, oddsmakers have seen fit to place Rousey as a virtual four-to-one favorite over the defending champion. These people are stupid.
Check the odds for yourself here. Strikeforce: “Tate vs. Rousey” is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to the aforementioned Women’s Bantamweight Championship fight headlining the card, the event also boasts notable Strikeforce talent like Josh Thomson, Paul Daley, Ronaldo Souza, and Scott Smith.
This will be Meisha Tate’s first defense of her belt after beating Marloes Coenen by submission in July of 2011. It was the first submission loss of the veteran Coenen’s career, and it extended Tate’s current win-streak to six straight fights. Overall Tate is 12-2 with a majority of her wins (eight of twelve) by stoppage, with a majority of those wins (five of eight) by submission.
Ronda Rousey, meanwhile, is well-known as the outspoken, always-controversial former Olympian that has earned a shot at the title after only four fights as a professional Mixed Martial Artist. All four of those wins have been by armbar, all four of those wins have been in the first round, and even more impressive, all four of those wins have come within the first minute of action. Rousey even has two wins that were earned in under thirty seconds.
Let me get this out of the way right away: I’m not disrespecting Ronda Rousey. I love me a “badboy” fighter (regardless of gender), and Rousey is a breath of fresh air in a division that is filled with a huge amount of talent but not that many personalities. Rousey is an incredibly scary woman to get in the cage with, and I’m honestly not surprised that she’s gotten a title shot this quickly. I even think she deserves one: history is on her side, as is marketability and the promotional force of Zuffa. The situation is what it is: she’s very popular, very attractive, very marketable, and most importantly she’s a very good fighter. And whenever you have that perfect storm of ingredients in MMA, of course you can expect to be catapulted to the top.
But a four-to-one favorite over Meisha Tate? That’s just plain disrespectful to Tate and the skills she’s shown inside of the cage. Meisha Tate is more than worthy of the belt that’s currently wrapped around her waist. As a pretty face she’s very marketable as well, but she’s also got a huge amount of skill in wrestling and takedowns, her stand-up is constantly improving, and yes, she does have a submission game. Maybe it’s not as good as Rousey’s, but it’s good enough that she’s won more times by submission than anything else.
If you want my opinion, I’d have Tate the slight favorite. Tate has shown an ability to stay calm and collected under pressure, and she’s got a lot of experience in deep waters, having competed twice in one night and having fought to the fourth round when she won the belt. I think Tate is going to take Rousey down and rearrange her face for five rounds. There’s a strong possibility that Rousey will grab something in those twenty-five minutes of getting grounded and pounded, but that’s why I have Tate as only the slight favorite.
But a four-to-one underdog? I just don’t see it. The bookmaker’s lack of faith in Meisha Tate both confuses and angers me. I think Tate is going to prove a lot of people wrong in this fight, and if you’re a betting man, you could make a decent chunk of change from that bet.
About the author
Oliver Saenz, also known as PdW2kX, is a freelance journalist, opinion columnist, hardcore MMA fan, and lifelong video game nerd. For more news, views, previews, and reviews on all things Mixed Martial Arts as well as video games, be sure to visit FightGamesBlog.net.