Ronda Rousey says she won't underestimate Miesha Tate when they meet… (Neil Davidson / Associated…)
Ronda Rousey was raised to never consider any opponent an “easy” victory. Knowing she’s defeated Miesha Tate once, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first women’s champion isn’t altering her pre-fight respect.
“My mom always says no one is easy until after you beat them, but even though I’ve beat Miesha, I think the fight will be extremely difficult,” Rousey said.
Rivals Rousey (7-0) and Tate (13-4) are opposing coaches on the FX reality television series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” an involvement that delayed Rousey’s fight schedule following her dramatic rally from a near-decisive chokehold to defeat Liz Carmouche by first-round armbar Feb. 23 at Honda Center.
UFC President Dana White said he was "tempted" to shift Rousey’s originally scheduled Dec. 28 bout against Tate to February, in order to pursue a rematch between new middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former longtime-reigning champion Anderson Silva after Weidman’s upset knockout win Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“I don’t want to be on the shelf too long … it’s not optimal, but I can handle anything,” Rousey told The Times on Monday in a telephone interview. “I would like to be on the New Year’s card, but I can see why Dana wants that,” Weidman-Silva rematch “to get done as soon as possible.”
Later Monday afternoon, White said he would keep Rousey-Tate on Dec. 28 and that Weidman-Silva II will take place at a date to be determined.
White said earlier Monday he didn’t want the possible “biggest fight in UFC history” to contend for a sports audience on Super Bowl weekend, with the game being televised next year by the UFC’s broadcast partner, Fox.
On “The Ultimate Fighter,” Tate, 26, replaced Cat Zingano, who suffered a knee injury after defeating Tate by third-round technical knockout in April.
Rousey and Tate fought for 4:27 in their March 2012 bout. Tate has admitted Rousey took her out of her fight plan by trash talking before the bout. Rousey dislocated Tate’s elbow in the victory, winning by first-round submission (armbar).
“She’ll fight with a cooler head, I expect her to be more technically sound,” Rousey said. “Last time, she came at me, out of control. That’s why I didn’t have a problem with her.
“I didn’t rely on mind games to win. But mind games help. It’s like a swimmer shaving off their arm hairs.”
Rousey said she is already itching to fight Tate, underlining that their dislike is genuine.
“I don’t like her, I want to get it out of the way with Miesha as fast as I can,” Rousey said. “I don’t fake,” anything, “why would I fake this” dislike?