Many fans may not know that the Rousey vs. Tate rivalry got its start in Strikeforce—not the UFC.
By March of 2012, Ronda was already considered one of MMA’s most talented prospects, but her Strikeforce title match against Miesha Tate established her as one of the best fighters in the world.
For those who lived through it, the energy through fight week was electric. The crowd at weigh-ins fed off of their rivalry and the fighters wasted no time showing the fans that the heat between them was real. Tate made sure to get close enough to touch foreheads with Ronda during their face-off and received a small headbutt for her troubles.
Those heated emotions flowed right into their fight.
Tate opened up by throwing a flurry of punches but was quickly tripped by Ronda and found herself in survival mode on the ground. Ronda managed to transition into an armbar, which looked to dislocate Tate’s arm, but she somehow managed to escape the submission.
Tate was able to showcase a bit of her own grappling and had Ronda in a few dangerous spots, but couldn’t keep the Olympian on the ground.
When the two stood up, Tate found herself inside Rousey’s guard again and on the business end of a koshi g
Ronda wasted no time scrambling into another armbar submission and this time Tate was forced to tap at the 4:27 mark of the 1st round.
In just her fifth professional fight and debut in the weight division, Ronda was able to justify the hype by becoming Strikeforce’s women’s bantamweight champion and put the wheels in motion for what would become a hall-of-fame career.
Check out Ronda training with Nick and Nate Diaz after winning her Strikeforce title.