Just in case you were wondering if Miesha Tate's performance against Jessica Eye last night (July 25, 2015) in UFC on FOX 16's co-main event from Chicago, Ill., was enough to earn her another title shot (see it), Dana White confirmed "Cupcake's" championship status to eliminate any and all mystery.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference (video replay here), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president said Tate did enough to warrant another potential showdown against Rousey by crowning her the No. 1 contender.
His words (transcription via MMA Junkie):
"Yeah, she is (No. 1 contender). You know, Miesha is such a durable human being. She will stand in front of you and take what you've got. Because she was getting picked apart in that first round. She keeps coming forward to land what she has to land or get you to the ground or do what she has to do to win. She did it again tonight. She has worked her way back to Ronda Rousey."
Of course, Rousey has to get past Bethe Correia when they tango next weekend (Aug. 1, 2015) in UFC 190's pay-per-view (PPV) main event for the trilogy bout to see the light of day.
As for Tate, she is confident that her improved striking and power will make all the difference in the title fight regardless of who she faces. But, "Cupcake" says it will be especially troublesome for "Rowdy" since she doesn't like he getting hit.
"I feel like I made some really necessary changes this. One of the biggest ones is becoming a better athlete. I feel like I added to my strength and conditioning program in stage one. I felt so much stronger, so much more powerful. I felt like the power I was able to deliver behind my hands was absolutely necessary. Not only for Ronda, but for anybody I'm fighting. But especially Ronda. I'm looking forward to that. She doesn't like to be hit and I need to be able to deliver that finishing power on the feet."
Indeed, Tate's improved punching power was on full display last night as she dropped Eye on more than one occasion with her right hand.
But, if she does get a third title fight versus Rousey, will Tate be able to last on the feet long enough to use her punching power to her advantage?
For complete UFC on FOX 16: "Dillashaw vs. Barao 2" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.