UFC 168: Despite newfound respect, Miesha Tate won’t 'underestimate' Ronda Rousey again

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Lesson Learned: Miesha Tate says she will not underestimate UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey much like she did in their first encounter.

Emotions have been running high during the filming of season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) between coaches Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, thanks to the long and bitter rivalry the two have shared dating back to their Strikeforce roots.

Watch this for proof.

But those feelings will be nonexistent come fight night, at least on Tate's end, who says that despite her obvious "dislike" for Rousey, she will bury all the tension and anger she has toward her -- prior to stepping into the cage -- because she doesn't plan on letting her emotions get the best of her.

Again.

At the end of the day, when you're fighting for a world title, fighting angry isn't the best approach and neither is underestimating your opponent, something Tate admits she did in their first fight almost a year and a half ago.

"Cupcake" broke it down during this week's UFC World Tour press conference in New York:

"I didn't get into fighting to beat up people I didn't like. I'm going out there to test myself, and I'm doing my best to put the personal dislike aside and look at it like a competition. The belt is all that matters at the end of day. I think I learned a lot in that fight. Before the fight, I didn't respect her, and now I do. She's the world champ and the best in the room. I underestimated her, and I won't make that same mistake again."

In their initial encounter, "Cupcake" stormed out of the gates, eager to get her hands on "Rowdy," putting the pressure on the former judoka in the opening seconds.

That plan, however, proved to be useless against a calm, cool and collected Rousey, who stuck to her gameplan and took the fight to the ground with ease, eventually ending the fight in the very first round via her trademarked armbar.

The loss ended Tate's run as the queen of the hexagon and gave Ronda the push to break down all the barriers she needed to eventually help women find a home inside the UFC's Octagon.

On Dec. 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tate will have the chance for payback as she challenges Rousey for her 135-pound strap in the co-main event at UFC 168. And this time, fans can expect a much more level-headed Tate.

But will the new approach pay off?

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