With Ronda Rousey's 34-second knockout of Bethe Correia on Saturday night at UFC 190, the one thing that we knew with certainty coming in is now official -- Rousey will defend her title against Miesha Tate next. Though the time and place is yet to be determined, Tate and Rousey will have their trilogy fight.
And with Rousey having essentially cleaned out the women's bantamweight division in just six UFC fights, she looks at the pending Tate fight as a unique challenge.
At the post-fight press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Rousey (12-0) said that Tate's familiarity of her intensity in the cage eliminates the shock factor that other challengers feel.
"Every fight is a challenge," Rousey said. "This [Correia] fight was a challenge in its own way, and I think one advantage that I do have over my opponents is they don't really know what they're coming into when they get in there. They can watch as much footage as they like but they don't know what it's like to be in there with me.
"And I think that's why Miesha is one of my greatest challenges, because she already has an idea of what she's getting in there with. I know I've improved a lot since the last time we fought."
Tate and Rousey first fought in 2012, when Rousey won the 135-pound title from Tate in Strikeforce. They met again at UFC 168 in late-2013, which ended the same way the first encounter did -- that is, with Rousey tapping Tate out via armbar. The lone distinction that Tate had the second time through was that she lasted until the third round in the fight before succumbing.
In 12 professional fights, Tate is the only one to get out of the first round with Olympic judoka Rousey, which in the world of silver linings stands for something. And Rousey says she's well aware that Tate has has gained something in the way of experience heading into the third fight.
"I don't have the element of surprise," she said. "And I know she'll bring in something different every single time, so I'm eager to see what she comes up with this time."
Tate (17-5) has won four straight fights to put herself back into contention. Her last fight was a unanimous decision against Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25 in Chicago. UFC president Dana White said on Saturday night that it's possible Tate-Rousey III could land on the same card as Conor McGregor-Jose Aldo, which is being looked at for a December show at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.MMA Hour: Meisha Tate thinks the third time will be the charm