It seems that fate has intervened, and it refuses to keep Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate apart. Cat Zingano injured her knee and will not coach the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Rousey. She is also missing out on her title shot in December, which Tate will now receive. This is an interesting development for various reasons as it ties into the sport vs. spectacle argument that has always engulfed combat sports.
The three biggest UFC pay-per-views of the year involved Frankie Edgar, Nick Diaz, and Chael Sonnen, three title challengers who were coming off a loss. They were equally as important in drawing spectators as were their opponents. Miesha Tate lost her last fight to Zingano in April, and now she is getting a world title shot. For the sake of professional sport, Sara McMann should be in this position. However, Tate’s inclusion as a coach and title challenger makes for better TV and will draw more money at the gate due to her rivalry with Rousey.
Ronda Rousey will make a ton of money in this fight and elevate her already shining profile. She may not do the same for her fight resume as she has already decisively beaten Tate, and some feel the champion might be a one-trick pony with seven consecutive armbar finishes in the first round. While the argument has some merit, no one has been able to challenge Rousey in other aspects of the fight game, so calling into question her skills, for the most part, is a moot point.
Perhaps, championships don’t matter anymore. They certainly don’t mean much of anything in Boxing. Floyd Mayweather is the WBC Welterweight champion, but you would be hard-pressed to find one piece of promotional material that mentioned that fact in his last bout with Robert Guerrero. Maybe it’s all about exciting fights as superstar credentials will always trump championship merit. After all, I, like every other MMA fan, will be glued to the TV come New Year’s Eve when the elite ladies of the Octagon go to war.