Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey held on to her 135-pound title last month, defeating Sara McMann via first-round technical knockout (video highlights here) at UFC 170 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Just as her coach predicted.
The win kept "Rowdy's" perfect mixed martial arts (MMA) record intact (9-0, 3-0 UFC), but more important, showed the fight world that the submission specialist can finish a an opponent using her striking rather than just her trademark armbar.
Rousey's bitter rival, Miesha Tate, reveals that she never viewed the former Olympian as a one-trick pony, even though she forced her to tapout with the same move on two separate occasions. According to Tate, the version of Rousey McMann faced on Feb. 22, 2014, in "Sin City" was an even better version of the one "Cupcake" rematched at UFC 168 in Dec. 2013 (video highlights here).
And in a rare moment, Tate took the time to applaud Rousey's ever-improving MMA game (via "The MMA Hour"):
"She looked great. I think the thing about Ronda is every fight she is getting better. I personally was never one to say she was a one-trick pony. I always said that was the best thing she had was her armbar. Clearly, I still think that's still the best thing she has, but obviously I fought the best version of Ronda, and I think Sara McMann fought an even better version of her because she's evolving her game. She looked good. She was able to showcase something else. And like I said, that's where the compliments will stop. I think she's an incredible athlete, and she has a great skill set, and that's all that I can say. I'll stop there."
Indeed, that is where the compliments end because as Tate reiterated, she still doesn't like Rousey as a person deep down.
Nevertheless, "Cupcake" did her best to end the beef between the two after getting submitted by her the second time, extending her hand for a shake that Rousey blatantly ignored (for this reason). As far as Tate is concerned, she's okay with the diss because she didn't really expect anything less.
"I don't know if I expected anything different. It was just kind of what I got used to, but that was my bury the hatchet, last ditch effort to say, you know what, we laid it all on the line, you came out the better fighter, I respect you for that. That was my offering, she didn't want to accept it, and that's fine. That's the difference between her and I, and it's just her and it's just me. I think if the world, if everybody was the same, then the world would be a really boring place. Some people like the fact that she's that way, and kind of ornery, and other people have kind of shifted gears and been a little bit thrown back by that, that she's that way."
The refusal to shake hands was met with countless boos from the crowd; however, now that the rivalry is gone (for now) Tate can focus on trying to get the first win of her Octagon career when she challenges Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX 11 on April 19, 2014, in Orlando, Florida.
While a win over Carmouche wouldn't earn Tate another crack at the title, it would likely prevent her from being one of the first women released by the Zuffa-owned promotion.