The Ultimate Fighter 18 Ratings Grab – Rousey vs. Tate
By Christopher Jester
As of May 28, 2013, Cat Zingano is out of her coaching stint opposite of Ronda Rousey on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter due to injury. In a turn of events, the UFC rewarded Miesha Tate the coaching position; the woman who Cat Zingano beat to get the position and future title shot. Despite being told that she will still have a title shot upon her return, Cat Zingano will have to wait her turn and now watch the woman she beat get an opportunity to seek revenge and steal her title shot against Ronda Rousey. The Rousey/Tate match-up makes for a more compelling affair based on the rivalry between the two, but was it the best move?
It is obvious that the UFC always wanted Rousey versus Tate on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. Those plans were foiled when Zingano roared to a TKO victory while smashing Tate with knees back on April 13th. This would have been a great opportunity to go into the mind of Cat Zingano throughout the weeks on TUF, but it is needless to say just how much more drama will play out between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.
Ronda Rousey made her name during her time at Strikeforce, but primarily because of how she riled up a rivalry between her and then Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. The buildup for the fight had been priceless, and the hate was real. Despite some of the negative comments Rousey took, she went into that fight and beat Miesha Tate, backing up everything she had said along the way. The banter back and forth between the two made headlines for Strikeforce. It’ll do wonders for the UFC.
And it is likely that this is what the UFC is thinking. With their new home on Fox Sports 1, the UFC needs this sort of ratings grab to help bolster their name recognition on the new channel. Fox likely is betting heavily on what they know about the Rousey and Tate rivalry. Because in a ranking situation it doesn’t make much sense. In the past few months, the UFC has awarded title shots to fighters who have not warranted the opportunity, often coming off losses and now Miesha Tate is among them.
Despite controlling her fight against Zingano for the first two rounds, Miesha Tate still lost to strikes and that is a statement no one can avoid. This comes down to ratings and ratings alone. The UFC and FOX have to be banking on Rousey and Tate’s previous history to sell the next season of TUF and their future fight. Is it a fight that fans want to see? Yes. Very few of us can deny that on April 13th, we were pulling for Tate to win just because we wanted to see the continuation of their heated hatred of one another. But is it entirely fair that it is playing out this way? No.
The truth is, if you’re going to give Tate the coaching stint and title shot, why not give it to someone else? Why not give it to Liz Carmouche? She nearly finished Rousey in the inaugural women’s fight and has been Rousey’s toughest outing. Or why not give it to a woman who actually has scored a victory in the Octagon? A woman named Sara McMann.
Sara McMann defeated Sheila Gaff at UFC 159, albeit impressively too. The former Olympian controlled the fight that led to a TKO victory for her in the second round. She deserves a shot in some respects more so than any other fighter previously mentioned. However, due to her credentials and comparison to Rousey based on previous history and skill, the UFC will likely attempt to build her up the long way. Her technical style and ability to control the fight with her wrestling could write potential disaster for Rousey; a woman who wants the fight to the ground because of her savvy armbar submissions. McMann has been considered the foil to Rousey for some time now, and a fight that makes sense for her is a fight that was originally scheduled for the cancelled Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir. A battle against Liz Carmouche would be the perfect setup for Sara McMann, with the winner a potential title challenger.
Regardless of what the rankings may say, Dana White and the UFC states they put on fights the fans want to see. It will be hard-pressed for anyone to deny that a Rousey-Tate rematch is a fight they want to see. At least with that, fans will get a whole season of TUF to broil their anticipation for the rematch. Even though others may be warranting of the shot, Rousey and Tate will make the best of it and their rivalry will spill out onto our television sets come September 4th with the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter Season 18.
Dana White Reveals Miesha Tate As New TUF Coach
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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