Tate is coming off a thrilling, fifth round, choke out win over Holly Holm at UFC 196, to deliver her the 135 title. Since Rousey was the reigning champ for so long, and holds two wins over Tate, chances are the latter’s first title defense will come against her rival.
Of course, when Tate faced Rousey for the first time in 2012, “Rowdy” was an emerging star who had never been defeated. By the time they fought again in 2013, Rousey was becoming one of the biggest names in the game. Since then, Rousey has gone on to reach superstar status, and was widely considered to be one of the most dominant champs in the sport, until she was brutally KO’d by Holm.
“What about Ronda’s mentality?” Tate said. “I think Ronda is beating herself up over this. I mean, she previously said that she’s so emotional to the point where she’s considering crazy things. It’s like, this is a broken woman. I don’t know if she’ll ever come back the same. But I have proven that I can come back from adversity and I do come back and I will come back. And there’s no one in this sport that can break me. I have the strongest mindset of anybody in there. I don’t know where Ronda is with her mindset, but I have to wonder. Is she ever going to come back the same?”
It’s a fair question, and recovering from a vicious loss like that can’t be easy for any fighter. But, Rousey has been knocked down before in her competitive life–see the 2008 Olympics–, and obviously she was able to battle back. Sure, maybe that’s not a violent loss like what went down last November, but time will tell if Rousey can lay claim to the belt.