Now Holly Holm has lost the belt to Miesha Tate. Holm had pummeled Rousey to rip the belt back in November of 2015, and a rematch would have been the thing Brinks trucks are made for. By scheduling another opponent for the new champion Holm, Dana White had to know the danger.
The new champ could lose, thus killing the chance for Rousey to regain her title from the fighter who dethroned her.
That scenario came to fruition when Miesha Tate choked the belt away from Holm at UFC 196 with a rear naked choke hold in the fifth and final round. Holm was in control of the fight when Tate went for the takedown that finally paid off for the veteran fighter.
Tate was able to lock in the choke hold that Holm had escaped from earlier in the fight. The tough as nails Preacher’s Daughter refused to tap though, forcing the ref to call the fight for her own safety.
Now it looks like we’ll see Rousey-Tate III. Not quite the revenge fight that White or most fans were looking forward to once Rousey recovered from her beating at the hands of Holm.
Of course, any Rousey PPV will sell. If she manages to beat Tate to regain her bantamweight title, then she will be redeemed. Somewhat.
Winning the belt without taking it back from the one who kicked her lights out will fall a bit short of the glorious return to the top of the UFC though. Rousey needs a rematch with Holm if she is ever to be considered the baddest female on the planet again.
Beating Tate will get her belt back, but her swagger will not be fully intact. And the only way to regain that swagger, along with the respect of fans across the country, will be for Rousey to avenge her loss to Holm.
Who knows if that opportunity will ever present itself. It’s possible that Rousey v. Tate won’t happen until the fall of this year. That’s a long wait and Holm could lose another fight in the meantime. The luster would be off Holm if that were to happen.
While we’re crowning Rousey the eventual champion once again, let’s not forget she would actually have to beat Tate. As we’ve seen in these last two big time women’s matches, the favorite does not always come out on top.
Tate pushed Rousey in their second fight before getting caught in the patented armbar once again. And beating an opponent three times in a row is no easy feat, as history has shown us over and over.
While we all wish we could have seen the biggest rematch in UFC history with Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm going at it at UFC 196, it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s the reality of the fight game, especially with modern day safety concerns.
Rousey wasn’t going to be ready to go so Tate got her shot and made the most of it.
Whether Rousey is able to get what used to be her belt back remains to be seen. But it won’t be as easy as some may think.
Those other two fights with Tate are in the past. And as we’ve seen in the past five months, the UFC women’s bantamweight division is quickly evolving into a future that doesn’t appear likely to be dominated by just one fighter.