The war of words between Strikeforce bantamweight champ Miesha Tate and undefeated Olympian Ronda Rousey heated up yesterday when the two talented females faced off to debate the issue of divisional contendership. Rousey, who has looked dominant in all four of her fights since crossing over from a career as a decorated Judoka, recently came forward to say she wanted a shot at Tate’s belt based on the buzz the bout would create, while the 135-pound title-holder has been adamant regarding Rousey’s need to wait her turn.
“I really feel 100 percent that a fight between her and me needs to happen,” said the 24-year old Rousey on an edition of The MMA Hour. “It’ll be great for women’s MMA. It’ll be the first highly anticipated fight in women’s MMA for a long time … We need to capitalize on the opportunity while we still have it. I don’t want to risk her losing the title and us not being able to fight each other for the title.”
Rousey supported her stance by referring to her ability to sell a fight to the public in comparison to other challengers, especially based on the marketability involved from an aesthetic standpoint.
“Sarah Kaufman kind of gives boring interviews, she’s not a supermodel and the way she fights, she doesn’t finish matches in extraordinary fashion,” Rousey explained. “It’s just kind of being realistic. I’m sorry that I have to say things bluntly and offend some people. I just want there to be a highly marketable, exciting women’s title fight, and I want to be part of that because I feel like I could do a really good job, and you could, too.”
Tate responded to Rousey’s claims by agreeing looks would play a significant role in the match-up being made if things go that route.
“If you weren’t pretty, it wouldn’t matter what you said or didn’t say,” replied Tate. “That’s why you’re getting this attention. I don’t know, I guess I personally like more of a humble approach.”
However, when it came to actual experience, Tate pulled no punches in her assessment of Rousey’s lack thereof.
“What happens when she gets a failed arm bar and someone ends up on top pounding her face in? Is she going to tap out or quit? We don’t know. We haven’t seen that yet. I think it’s kind of silly to put her in with me because that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take it to her.”
“A lot of people are underestimating me. That’s fine. That always seems to be the case,” Tate continued. “Make no mistake, if Ronda is my next fight, I’m going to come in with a vengeance you’ve never seen before, because to be quite honest, it’s probably going to piss me off.”
For now their rivalry will continue to simmer with no definitive indication of how Strikeforce will handle the female division in 2012 since the company hasn’t announced any events beyond December. That being said, with both being supremely skilled and under the age of 25, chances are this week’s run-in won’t be the last between the two talented ladies whether in terms of verbal exchanges or an eventual physical one.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE