There is a disclaimer I would like to make prior to the content of this article. Just because Holly Holm(10-0) had a dominant victory over former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, it does not mean this next fight will be easy. Now I would like to refute my own previous statement to say, “yeah it’s possible that this will be an easier fight for Holm.” It should be nothing new considering Miesha Tate(17-5) comes in as a +285 underdog in this fight. Yes the experience and wrestling and blah blah blah are all there but what what advantage does Miesha hold in this fight? Well the answer may be more obvious than it seems, it’s her durability. Still just like Ronda found out Holm is a different animal and one who seems to be improving in every fight. Luckily for Miesha against any opponent not named Ronda Rousey, she has been progressing as a fighter as well which makes this an very interesting match up.
Here is one thing I do know, Miesha Tate is like the “Batman” of the women’s mixed martial arts divisions. Why? Because she is a true student of the sport and is fantastic with her analysis of of the female fighters inside and outside of the cage. She literally knows the strengths and weaknesses of most of the athletes which gives her a pure advantage going into most fights. Unfortunately for her Holm is not your normal athlete. This woman is a born fighter and has the skill and technique to put work in on her own teammates like Jon Jones and Donald Cerrone. While I picked Ronda to beat Holly Holm it primarily was due to what happens if the fight went to the ground and some of that can be true for Miesha. Even though her more recent fights have went the way of a decision back in her Strikeforce days she submitted some very capable fighters. Namely Marloes Coenen who I think Holm style is the most similar too even though Holly is the better fighter. Tate will have to use her very diverse mma wrestling to get the fight to the ground but just like what happened to the former champ she may find out it’s not that easy. Holm does more than look the part and clearly showed she has the strength to stave off a few takedowns and with Izzy Wrestling in her forte more than likely she has improved even more. So what does Miesha need to do? Clearly the gameplan for Holm is a little less complex. Stick and move and look for openings. Let’s imagine for a second that the same thing needs to happen for Tate. Is that the strategy to make her successful? Let’s explore.
If you have ever seen Miesha fight one thing you will notice is she actually has some great timing. She likes to box and really has no issues standing with any competitor she faces. For a woman who is often looked at a wrestler she has a percentage of over 50 for successful strikes and it’s even slightly higher for strikes while standing. So for better or for worse she likes to stay on her feet. Experts and critics alike say that was the downfall for Ronda but can it truly be the same of Tate? If she can endure and absorb punches better than Rousey then that gives her a “puncher’s chance” right? Even though Holm is a clear favorite the numbers are nowhere near as enormous as the former champs so even Vegas thinks “hey, maybe Miesha can find a way to get it done.”
If it happens it will be possibly the best performance of Miesha’s career and of course would give her the ultimate goal. Knowing the UFC that also could propel the final fight between her and Rousey but a Holm rematch would be better suited. For Holm she will need to test out the chin of Tate early and try her hardest to avoid locking up with her. Tate is stronger than most people give her credit for and in the clinch she’s very equipped with using her elbows. Experience really does not play out in the match between Holm and Tate because outside of her 10 professional fights Holm has had a successful boxing and kickboxing career. So to strip it down to the bare essentials and see who truly holds the advantages the pendulum will sway in Holm’s favor which is understandable. Miesha is one tough out and her steady streak as of late is one to take notice of. We are sure she has no problem coming in as the underdog (frankly both women are in regards to the main event) and similar to the Raquel Pennington fight for Holm, may find a few openings that places the bantamweight champion in her own world of trouble.