In the early days of WMMA, one rivalry shined above all others. Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate are widely credited with being the duo to propel WMMA into the spotlight, and ultimately leading the Fertitta brothers and UFC President Dana White to creating a women’s division in the UFC.
She spoke to MMAJunkie:
“I feel like I was blessed to have a rival like Ronda Rousey. Because, without the two of us, there wasn’t enough. She wasn’t enough by herself, and I wasn’t enough, definitely, by myself.
“It was the two of us together, our fight in Strikeforce, that made Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say, ‘Wow, OK, maybe the UFC can have a women’s division, because these two were competitive.’”
“I think it was her and my fight together that was so close,” Tate said. “It was back-and-forth, and there was lots of action. She would almost catch me and then I’d have her back. It was very competitive, and even at the end I refused to tap. I let her literally snap my arm in half. That was my choice. I got put in the armbar; that wasn’t my choice. But to let it literally fold backwards was definitely my choice.
Miesha Tate concluded by explaining that she believes it was her rivalry with Rousey that helped grow the female presence in MMA:
“I think all of those facts together are a big part of the reason why the women’s division is here today. And why we actually have four women’s divisions. It started because that fight was so close and contested. It was a good fight. I can look at it objectively and say it was a very good fight.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/7/2017.