Meisha Tate and Sara McMann are two of the last three fighters to have lost to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. But because the women’s division isn’t as deep as some of the men’s weight classes, one of them could be getting one more shot at Ronda’s belt very soon.
A Title Eliminator?
Although the UFC has not officially sanctioned the Tate-McMann bout as a title eliminator, both women are on top of the rankings. Tate is currently ranked #2 in the latest UFC rankings while McMann follows her at #3. So provided that Ronda gets past #1 contender Cat Zingano at UFC 184 next month, the winner of the Tate-McMann tussle this Saturday at UFC 183 should vault back to the number one contender spot and earn another title fight against the unbeaten Rousey.
Both women have rebounded from their respective losses to Rousey. Tate is on a two fight winning streak, beating #7 ranked Liz Carmouche by decision last April 19 and then outpointing promotional newcomer Rin Nakai in Saitama. On the other hand, McMann is coming off a split decision win over Lauren Murphy last August 16.
Born From a Call Out
Like most UFC bouts, this one was born out of a call-out from one of the women. After Tate disposed of the unbeaten Nakai in Japan, McMann immediately challenged her on social media. It didn’t take long before the tough Tate took the invite and the fight was booked for UFC 183. Tate recently said that “she’ll show McCann what it means to call her out” while McCann believes that the road to Ronda Rousey has to go through Meisha Tate. Tate feels the same way about her opponent, citing that a win over McCann should solidify her claim to get a third shot at her bitter rival in Ronda Rousey.
McCann was supposed to give Rousey her biggest challenge because of her Olympic wrestling background. But a knee to the liver ended her night faster than the walk-outs. On the other hand, Tate has twice tapped out due to an armbar from Rousey. The first fight didn’t last more than one round but Tate took Rousey to Round 3 in their rematch before getting submitted. Tate is the only woman to have lasted more than one round against the dominant Rousey.
Who Takes This One?
Despite her more decorated MMA experience, Meisha Tate is the underdog in this fight at +175 while Sara McMann is the favorite at -210. In 20 MMA bouts, Tate has won the FCF women’s bantamweight title, the Strikeforce women’s welterweight tournament finals and the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title in a seven year career. On the other hand, McMann is the first American woman to win a silver medal in Olympic wrestling (2004 Athens Olympics). She also won two gold medals at the Pan-American Games and two bronze medals plus one silver in the World Championships. She’s been competing in MMA since 2011.
As her resume says it, McMann’s biggest advantage is her supreme wrestling skills which she’s utilized very well in her nine fight MMA career. McMann prefers to dominate her opponents on the mat using a mix of grappling, submission and punching power to neutralize her opponent. But Tate is not wrestling patsy herself. She was a former High School State wrestling champion and won a silver medal in the FILA Grappling World Championships in 2008.
McMann is obviously the better wrestler and seems to pack more power in her punches. But when you talk about Meisha Tate, she’s a grinder who’s tough as nails against anybody out there. This one poses to be a grinder where the woman who wants it more will win. So then men of UFC 183 better watch out because these pretty girls could outplay them for Fight of the Night honors.