In what has become one of the most heated and publicized feuds in women’s MMA history, Strikeforce Bantamweight Women’s Champion Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey have been in a war of words; from Twitter, to podcasts, to websites, to television. With only a few days till their showdown in Columbus, OH for the title, let’s take a look back at the history of the hatred.
Rousey has always been outspoken and held a lot of youthful bravado when she came into Strikeforce. After several inquiries about a possible title match with Cris Cyborg after she defeated Julia Budd last November, Rousey stated that she didn’t feel ready for a Cyborg match, and would rather take the 135lb strap and then go back up to 145lb to unify the titles.
Many in the women’s MMA community, including Tate, stated that she should stay in the 145 division, take on Cyborg, then drop down. They also stated that if Rousey were to drop that she first ought to first establish herself in the 135lb rankings.
Rousey took out Julia Budd in her usual quick fashion; this time separating Budd’s arm from the shoulder. After the fight, Rousey called out the #1 contender for Tate’s title, Sarah Kaufman.
Shortly after the match, Tate and Rousey were on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani in what was an epic debate on female MMA’s marketing, and why Rousey did or did not deserve a shot at the title.
In the interview, Rousey argued that “good looks” and “smack talk” were the best way to market female fighters, and blasted Kaufman for not being a marketable fighter. Tate took Kaufman’s side, stating that Rousey has not established herself in the division and has yet to face any quality competition.
As the weeks went by, Rousey did some campaigning to face the champ. Strikeforce made the announcement that instead of Kaufman getting her earned rematch with Tate for the belt, Rousey would be given the shot at the gold.
Tate and Kaufman were absolutely furious, as were a lot of people in the WMMA community. Rousey, who never fought at 135lb in MMA and was unranked in the division, was getting the shot based on her campaigning. Tate’s hope was to avenge her loss to Kaufman, but now Kaufman was out of her title shot as number one contender.
Since then, Rousey has been doing a press tour that includes launching insults at Tate. These ranged from “she’s un-American” to being “whiny and annoying”. One insult that angered Tate was when Rousey stated that she could beat Tate and her boyfriend, MMA fighter Bryan Caraway, in the same day.
Tate has been firing back, stating that Rousey isn’t an MMA fighter, she is a one trick pony, and has yet to be hit by a real punch. This also included the photo to the right (made by WMMARoundup.com) which went viral.
After the match — win, lose, or draw — Tate has stated to the Wombat Sports podcast that she would not shake Rousey’s hand and not forgive her for what she has said. Rousey has yet to say if she will even say a word to Tate after the match, but it is expect she will be just as unapologetic as ever.
“I have enough friends already,” Rousey stated on numerous occasions.
(Photos courtesy Ester Lin/Strikeforce unless otherwise stated)
You can watch a great trailer for the fight by Cynthia Vance below: