If there was one thing I was really looking forward to with Strikeforce’s match up of Tate vs Rousey it was to see how Rousey dealt with her stand up skills and her chin being tested. I surmised that Miesha Tate would put every effort into controlling the distance and keeping the fight standing, maybe going to the ground in the later rounds when Rousey got tired and was in uncharted waters.
Sadly I was wrong. It seemed all the trash talking paid off for Ronda Rousey as Tate’s hate and aggression towards her opponent saw her driving forward looking to put some leather on her nemesis as quickly as she could. If this was the tactics going into the fight then surely Miesha should have been advised against it. Maybe the pre fight tactics were entirely the opposite to this and in the heat of the battle the temptation to get the punches landed was just too great – she could certainly be forgiven for that. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly admire Miesha Tate for going for it and having the courage to take Rousey on in whichever range the fight went to but in hindsight this was not the best tactics to employ against a stronger, grappling specialist.
All too often fighters get caught up emotionally to a point where they don’t make sensible decisions. Frequently this is because they visualise winning with a very specific and narrow mindset. They visualise a scenario where they take their opponents head off, and they do it quick. But like a cat toying with a mouse there is more fun to be had than that if you really hate your opponent (and even if you don’t). If you want to cause maximum psychological and physical damage to your opponent then don’t just concentrate on making your stuff work, concentrate on making their stuff fail and then take your time and enjoy it. If Tate’s vision of victory was less about getting the quick win and more about making Rousey fail at what she does best by keeping her at range, making her have to engage, not letting her get the clinch and making the fight go longer than she’s used to and who knows, the fight might have looked very different.
One thing is for sure though, Rousey was gifted the range she loves, Tate gave it to her all wrapped up with a shiney bow. Who knows whether this was down to a loss of emotional control or a lack of tactics but it will certainly haunt her for quite a while.