On Tuesday’s UFC World Tour stop that included heavyweights preparing for their third meeting and two other title showdowns, the women sold their show the best.
UFC champion Ronda Rousey and her Dec. 28 challenger Miesha Tate engaged in an entertaining back and forth at the Club Nokia stop in Los Angeles.
“I see the chink in the armor of my opponent in that she won’t look me in the eye,” Rousey said.
Rousey, of Venice, previously submitted Tate like she has every other opponent -- via first-round armbar -- when they previously fought in the Strikeforce organization.
Rousey says key to her victory was penetrating Tate’s psyche with mind games that transformed Tate into an out of control brawler who was easier to defeat in March 2012.
Tate is more than a year wiser and has just endured lengthy exposure to Rousey. They were opposing coaches in the UFC’s upcoming reality television series, “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“Part of it is realizing and admitting it was a problem,” Tate said. “I fought completely wrong. But now I compare it to being an addict, where the first step is admitting I had a problem with it.”
Tate said that on “The Ultimate Fighter” and at Tuesday’s event she has noticed the barbs she's directed at Rousey seem to affect the champion.
“The tides are turning,” Tate said. “She was never bothered by the things I said in the past, but now she is. The bottom line is everyone is beatable.”
On stage Tuesday, Rousey said her rivalry with Tate has a rhythm that’s driven by the fact, “I have everything she wants in life.”
Answered Tate, “She has a lot of things I want, but her level of disrespect … she has a way of irritating me and vice versa. It’s a personal thing.”
Tate then stood to look Rousey in the eye, to which Rousey responded by extending one finger up toward her challenger.
“She does the same thing every fight … looks to clench and goes after the armbar,” Tate said. “The key is not getting armbarred.”