Ronda Rousey enters the cage Saturday at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro against Bethe Correia.
It’s technically unfair to assume Rousey snags her 12th-straight victory and seventh-consecutive title defense. But let us make asses out of each other for just one second and picture Correia tapping out in Rio, leaving Rousey to stand as one of the few undefeated women in the UFC’s bantamweight division.
A bank-breaking bout with Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos probably won’t happen anytime soon. Holly Holm proved earlier this month in San Diego that she isn’t ready for a shot at the crown. Unfortunately, the “Gina Carano return” whispers have died down.
That leaves Miesha Tate, the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion who recently proved her dominance over Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago.
Despite dropping two armbar losses to Rousey in three years, Tate has been “guaranteed” another chance at the women’s bantamweight title. And while most would be quick to complain about giving Tate another chance, Rousey’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan thinks Cupcake’s worthy of another crack.
He tells Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour:
“I think she does deserve the title shot again,” he said. “And we’re ready. I like that fight. I do like that fight, because she’s still talking crap a little bit and she thinks making it into the third round with Ronda, she thinks she can do better now and go for a decision or something like that. She’s mistaken and we’ll be ready for that fight.”
Tate went on to highlight the improved striking she evoked against Eye as a way to prove herself capable of beating Rousey in a potential third title fight. Of course, landing a heavy right hand to drop an opponent can change the complexion of a five-round fight. Still, Rousey’s coach doesn’t think it’s enough.
“[Tate]’s been doing a bit better, it seems like for her. But it’s cool. I like that fight. I’m real excited for that fight, actually. Because this time I’m going to make sure that Miesha Tate gets really punished and knows what she’s getting into. It’s not gonna be good for her career. She’s gonna get a lot of damage and I’m gonna make sure it’s not healthy for her career.”
Before all the trilogy fights can hold their weight in water, Rousey must defend her title against Correia. UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia takes place Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. PT.