Heading into her March 3 title fight against Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, there are still several unanswered questions surrounding the highly-touted Ronda Rousey.
An Olympic medalist in judo, Rousey hasn’t seen any of her four professional fights leave the first round, or end in any method other than by armbar. Also, up until now, the 25-year-old has competed as a featherweight and will be facing a much bigger weight cut than she’s used to heading into this fight.
Still, as she told USAToday recently, Rousey isn’t concerned about her conditioning or the effect that the cut to 135 will have on it.
“I’m not concerned with my cardio, at all. My endurance has always been one of my biggest assets, especially when I did judo,” said Rousey. “I was very good at keeping a very high pace for a sustained period of time. With the weight cut, we’re going to do it correctly. We’re not going to starve. I’m not going to lose a lot of water weight at all. I really don’t think that endurance is going to be an issue after this weight cut. This is our job and I want to be professional about it. There’s no reason why I can’t make this weight and still feel good.”
Tate is known for her grappling prowess and ability to grind out a victory, as she did against Marloes Coenen last year to initially capture the belt. Tate was expected to lose against Coenen and impressively stifled her opponent’s lauded submission game. But, to channel Georges St-Pierre, Rousey wasn’t impressed by her performance and she believes that the tempo she’ll set and the skills she’ll employ will be too much for Tate to keep up with.
“The really slow pace really jumps out at me,” Rousey said when asked to assess Tate’s last fight. “Her inability to do damage on the ground; there was a lot of times when she was in a dominant position and she wasn’t doing any damage. To be honest, every time I study that tape, I have to take breaks in the middle because I’m just bored. It’s a boring fight. It’s kind of a slow, grinding, boring match. I don’t think she’s going to be able to deal with the pace that I’m going to set for her.”
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey goes down on March 3 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.