Last Saturday, March 25th, the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted the UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. In the main event, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor was facing Nate Diaz in a welterweight bout, in substitution to the original fight for the lightweight title between McGregor and Dos Anjos. McGregor was hoping to become the first fighter to hold two divisional belts at the same time. However, Dos Anjos withdrew from the bout due to a broken foot suffered in training.
Nate Diaz -ranked number 5 in the 155-pound division, stepped into face featherweight champion, Conor McGregor, but the bout was set for the welterweight in 170 pounds. Nate landed some powerful blows and began to punish McGregor, finishing him with a stunning rear naked choke in the second round. It was a victory no one expected, but he was not the big winner of the night.
In the co-main event, the “Preacher’s Daughter” and UFC women bantamweight champion Holly Holm was facing Miesha Tate, who perfectly executed a well-planned strategy. “CupCake” was patient and careful in every single move she performed, waiting for any chance to take Holly down. But she was only able to put her on the mat once in the second round. Midway through the fifth round, Tate was able to take Holm down once more and hang from her back with all her strength. Tate squeezed Holly’s neck with a rear naked choke, putting her to sleep. Nonetheless, Miesha isn’t the night’s winner either.
The Winner Of The Night
She didn’t throw one single punch. Neither performed a takedown attempt nor even tried to twist any joints. Nonetheless, -and despite she wasn’t even there, Ronda Rousey seems to be the biggest winner of UFC 196.
Miesha Tate finally got her bantam title belt since Ronda Rousey snatched it from her, back in March 2012, at the Strikeforce tournament. They faced again at UFC 168 in 2013; Rousey defeated Miesha once more by submission. As Ronda’s legacy and winning streak began to grow, their rivalry grew along. By the time everyone thought Ronda was unbeatable, Holly Holm stunned the world with an impressive KO over -the until then, undefeated champion.
Watching an icon, a hero, or in this case, a heroine fall in such a way is shocking, especially for that person. For Ronda Rousey, it was no different. Right after her defeat, she had to deal with her emotions, with disappointed fans, haters, media, and even suicidal tendency rumors.
However, it seems that the recent victory of her historic rival could be the best thing that has happened to her for a while. Ronda knows she is next in line, no matter whom she will be fighting. And the timing couldn’t be any better.
If Ronda’s next match is against Miesha, she could easily regain her confidence as she has already beaten Tate twice. “Without underestimating Miesha, it could be the easiest road to regaining the belt”.
The other possibility is, Ronda fighting Holm again, and the winner to face Miesha for the title. I always thought this could be the worst scenario for Ronda. As fighting the one who literary destroyed you is always terrifying. Nonetheless, thanks to Miesha, that picture changed drastically.
Miesha didn’t only showed Ronda that her worst nightmare is human, but she also showed her the path to defeat Holly Holm and how to execute the strategy flawlessly. This little help could get rid of some of the ghosts that have been haunting Rousey in the past months and put her back in the game. Of course, there is always the possibility that Holm gets the immediate rematch against Tate. However, according to ESPN, UFC boss, Dana White said that he thinks, Ronda now will fight Miesha Tate for the title. So, it looks like no matter if it is against Tate or Holm, Ronda is fighting next.