Ronda Rousey did what most people expected – she armbarred Miesha Tate tonight at UFC 168, but it took her three rounds to do so and for the first time we got to see her tested both on the feet and on the mat in an entertaining battle.
And we’re underway in the co-main event and they start trading blows in the center of the cage.
It’s short lived though as Rousey steps in close and gets into the clinch. There’s a few seconds in this position then Rousey goes for the throw. It doesn’t quite pay off though and Tate gets straight back up again.
They are still in the clinch though with Rousey throwing some punches. They separate and Tate goes for a kick, but Rousey catches it and takes her down.
Tate tries for an armbar from the bottom, but Rousey shakes it off. Tate gets up and now it’s her who goes for the takedown, and she gets it.
Rousey’s already looking for punches from her back though and looks very strong. Rousey is looking for a submission and Tate’s in danger here even though she’s on top. Rousey’s also still landing punches and Tate’s has blood on her face.
They work back up to the feet and start trading punches. It’s competitive on the feet and Tate is getting in some good strikes here.
This fight is being fought at a really high tempo and that’s how it continues as Rousey utilizes her judo skills to great effect to get her opponent to the mat. Tate surprises her though by managing to get on top, but not for long and the champion gets back to her feet.
Tate presses forward eagerly, but Rousey shows perfect timing with another picture perfect judo throw. Tate’s soon back to her feet and that’s where an exciting opening round ends.
They exchange again to start the fight and Tate lands another nice blow, but then Rousey gets a trip takedown.
She’s standing over her and Tate starts firing up effective upkicks that back Rousey off and she gets back up as a result.
They start striking again and Tate might just have the advantage in these punching exchanges. She makes a mistake though by swooping in for a takedown and Rousey again uses her momentum to land a beautiful judo throw.
Rousey’s definitely eager to prove a point in this fight though and stands up again giving Tate the opportunity to get back up too.
Not for long though as soon Rousey’s got a hold of Tate’s leg and is taking her down again. Tate tries to sweep as Rousey attempts to get to side control, and while it’s not successful, she does get to her knees and then her feet.
Rousey’s judo is firing on all cylinders tonight and she uses it again to slam Rousey to the mat.
Tate’s trying to find a submission, but then Rousey counters by finally going for that armbar and she looks like she’s got it locked up perfectly. Tate toughs it out though and somehow manages to get out of danger. Remarkable resiliancy from Tate. Rousey’s not letting her off the hook though and threatens with a triangle, but Tate seems ok, defends well and makes it out of the round.
Rousey comes wading in with punches to start the third round and presses Tate up against the cage.
There’s a brief lull in the action and then Rousey goes for the takedown. Tate rolls with it though and almost gets out of danger.
Not quite though – Rousey’s working for her infamous armbar again and this time she’s got it locked up perfectly and there’s no escape for Tate who taps out with 0.58mins of the third round gone!
Tate gets up and offers a handshake to Rousey who just looks at her and then walks off.