We already know that Ronda Rousey will fight Bethe Correia next at UFC 190 in Brazil, but the woman’s bantamweight champion has now revealed how her next opponent after that will be established.
“Let’s say when I beat Bethe (Correia), we’re also going to have Miesha Tate versus Jessica Eye, and I think I’ll be fighting the winner of that after I beat Bethe,” Tate told the Brazilian media yesterday.
Dana White later confirmed the story, though he clarified that Tate and Eye wouldn’t be fighting on the same card as Rousey Vs Correia.
“We weren’t supposed to talk about it here today, but Ronda wanted to, so we let her,” White said. “They’re going to fight. Sometime in June.”
Tate has of course traditionally been Rousey’s biggest rival, but she’s already lost twice to her once in the Strikeforce promotion, and once in the Octagon. However, Tate has given Rousey more of a challenge than any of her previous opponents, particularly in view of the fact that the champ’s last three fights have lasted a combined total of 1.36mins.
In their first encounter Tate managed to escape one of Rousey’s infamous armbar submission and even took her back at one point before finally being tapped late in the first round, while in their rematch she became the first fighter to take Rousey beyond the opening five minutes, lasting until the third round before the inevitable armbar stoppage.
Since that fight Tate has gone on a three-fight winning streak and is currently ranked as the No.2 contender in the division. Despite her losses to Rousey she’s still female MMA’s second biggest draw with her last win over Sara McMann as the headline prelim for UFC 183 was watched by almost two million viewers on FOX Sports 1 while she’s also become an occasional analyst for the channel.
To book a trilogy fight with Rousey she’ll have to get past Eye though who is the only fighter amongst the bantamweight division’s top 8 contenders aside from Correia that the champion hasn’t fought yet.
She was also mentioned personally by Rousey following her lastest victory at UFC 184 as a fighter who she’d like to face in the future.
Eye is currently ranked No.6 in the division, but has had somewhat of a patchy run in the UFC to date. She won her first fight via controversial decision against former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman only to then have it amended to a no-contest when she tested positive for marijuana. Then came a split decision loss to Alexis Davis, though she got back on track with a TKO stoppage against Leslie Smith last time out.
With this fight now in the works the woman left out in the cold for the time being is former boxing champion Holly Holm who was the other fighter alongside Correia and Eye who Rousey expressed an interest in fighting.
Holm may be glad for the extra time though as she still has room for improvement after a decent, but certainly not spectacular showing in her UFC debut last month, only managing to eek out a split decision win over Raquel Pennington.