Ronda Rousey shirked manners and a tough Miesha Tate on Saturday night to defend her women’s Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight belt with a third-round submission win delivered by her patented armbar.
Rousey (8-0) endured her greatest challenge yet in mixed martial arts after seven previous first-round armbar wins, standing up to Tate’s best punches and withstanding the athletic challenger’s attempts to exhaust Rousey.
The bout ended 58 seconds into the third round, when Rousey spun Tate (13-5) and pulled on her left arm until the challenger tapped out on Rousey’s thigh.
“I have no excuses, she’s the better fighter,” Tate said in the octagon.
Rousey’s comments were muffled out by a chorus of boos after she failed to accept Tate’s offer of a handshake after the fight.
Rousey was heard to say she “felt disrespect” about Tate.
The pair’s intense rivalry, dating to a previous Rousey win in Strikeforce, grew toxic as they filmed the “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series together for UFC.
The drama peaked as Tate opened by throwing, and landing, a flurry of punches at Rousey. Rousey rallied by hitting Tate on the ground in an active first round that included the stronger Rousey flipping Tate.
“The gameplan … was to punch her as much as I can,” Tate said.
Tate also hammered Rousey with kicks to the head in the second round, but Rousey scored takedowns and unmercifully delivered hard punches to Tate’s midsection at the round’s close.
Tate’s corner urged her to extend the fight between rounds, but she couldn’t.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission reported Rousey earned a guaranteed $50,000 plus a $50,000 win bonus, while Tate was paid a guaranteed $28,000.
The fight preceded the night’s main event, the anticipated middleweight-title rematch between champion Chris Weidman and longtime former champion Anderson Silva. Weidman defeated Silva by second-round knockout in July.