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Power-punching Miesha Tate 'catching up to Ronda Rousey as far as being a better athlete'

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After disposing of Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 just a few weeks ago in Chicago, Illinois (watch it), Miesha Tate earned herself a third fight against Ronda Rousey and another chance to unseat "Rowdy" from the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight throne.

Rousey did her part to keep the trilogy fight alive by dispatching of her latest victim opponent, Bethe Correia, in just 34 seconds in the main event of UFC 190 last Sat. night (Aug. 1, 2015) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

See it again here.

So why does "Cupcake" believe her third attempt to hand Ronda her first-ever loss will go differently than the previous two? Because she has the confidence, as well as the improved strength and striking power to get it down this time around.

Plus, she has the advantage of already sharing the cage with Ronda twice before, so she knows just what she's getting into, as she recently declared on The MMA Hour:

"For one thing, I've been beating everyone else who potentially deserves a shot, so you can't tell me that there is a single girl out there who deserves it more than I do right now. I'm confident saying that because I told everyone that I would work my way up to the title and I earned that. I beat all the best girls, I'm on a four-fight win streak and I'm the only one to give Ronda a fight so far. I've already proved that I have something that no other girl in the division has been able to prove they have. Taking Ronda to the third round is no easy feat, but that gives me more confidence in knowing what it's like to be in there with her. Knowing what I'm up against gives me confidence because I know what I'm getting into. I know I'm evolving, Ronda's evolving, but that feel of fighting is her is different than fighting anyone else. I know I am more prepared for that, and I know my striking is evolving and I'm becoming a better athlete, training more strength and I feel like things happen for a reason. This last camp, I didn't train a lot of wrestling so I was able to focus on striking, And I am confident that I am able to deliver those kinds of knockouts, that power in my punches, and I am able to strike longer than I have before. I think her striking has gotten better, but I think am catching up to her as far as being a better athlete."

Tate acknowledges there isn't a set formula to secure a win over Rousey, but is increasingly motivated to be the one to figure out the championship puzzle.

Third time's the charm, and all that jazz.

The bout is expected to go down on Dec. 5, 2015 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. But it won't be the headliner, as it is expected to serve as co-main event to the much-anticipated featherweight title unification bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.

For more on the potential blockbuster event click here.

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