The UFC’s decision to book Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate against Amanda Nunes seems a bit odd on the surface with Holly Holm available and wanting that rematch, especially with both of them then viable for a fight with Ronda Rousey in the fall. However, based on comments from Tate herself, it seems it may have been something she pushed for.
Tate was serving as co-host on UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1 Wednesday night when the fight was announced, and she commented on why she likes this fight with Nunes more than Holm.
“Ronda’s out until November or December, and the fight with Holly, it was her first title defense and she wasn’t successful in it. It’s not like she was a longtime reigning champion, and I finished the fight,” Tate commented. “So I think the next viable contender, the most dangerous woman after that would be Amanda Nunes.
“I love it, I think she’s really tough, she’s on a four fight win streak, she’s got a lot of momentum, and she’s really dangerous. I asked to fight the next best person in line and that’s what they told me… I’m fighting at UFC 200 and I’m very, very excited to be making my first title defense.”
Penick’s Analysis: From Tate’s perspective this certainly makes sense, it’s just surprising the UFC is taking the risk again after already losing out on the immediate Holm-Rousey rematch. Still, a Tate-Holm rematch benefits mostly Holm and the UFC’s future booking a lot more than it does Tate. To that end, if she wants to keep herself at the top and prove she’s the best, taking out a contender she hasn’t yet defeated certainly boosts her case into the then expected rematch with Rousey later this year.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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