What does the UFC’s decision to book Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 tell you?
Riley Kontek: It tells me that Ronda Rousey is still not ready to come back and Miesha Tate is ready to go. When Dana White said that Rousey wasn’t ready to go until around November, he may not have been fibbing. She will probably now be getting ready for the winner of Tate-Nunes in the main event of an end-of-the-year PPV. Also, they continue to stack UFC 200, as another title fight is added there. It’s going to be a huge event.
Daniel DeMarco: It is an odd one for UFC. It either means UFC thinks that 200 is stacked enough to be a blow-out, so they do not need a “money fight” for the women’s bantamweight title. Or it means it just could not get Holm back in that quickly. We already knew that Rousey was not coming back until late this year. Because aside from Holm and Rousey, Nunes is the only other fighter in the division worthy of a title shot. To get back to a previous note though, I suppose this could also mean UFC wants to stack the card as much as possible by adding another title fight, even if it is not the most marketable match-up. In fact, it would not surprise me at all if a third title fight was added. Lawler and dos Anjos do not have anything scheduled as of now. It could be interesting.
Travis Wakeman: It tells me that the company wants Tate vs. Rousey III and it feels that this is the “safest” fight for Miesha. Holly Holm doesn’t deserve a rematch? How about Cat Zingano, who has wins over Tate and Nunes? I feel that Dana White desperately wanted Rousey back for UFC 200 but when it became obvious that she wouldn’t be able to fight until the end of the year, at the earliest, they gave the fight to Nunes, someone they expect Tate will beat.
Go Paolo: It tells me a lot of things. For one, we really have no idea who gets a title shot now.
Secondly, it tells me the immediate rematch with Holm may have been turned down because Diaz and McGregor are already fighting on the same card and booking Tate and Holm again would seem like a direct repeat of UFC 196.
And lastly it tells me there are no other champions available to fight and the UFC had to book a “real” title fight on the card. Although I am suspecting the UFC has some big plans for Robbie Lawler as he is the only other available and able champion I can think of.
Jordy McElroy: The UFC really doesn’t want Holly Holm anywhere near Ronda Rousey anytime soon.
An immediate rematch between Tate and Holm would have been warranted in this case, and it would have easily been the more marketable fight. There is no doubt that Amanda Nunes is a deserving contender, and it is even a breath of fresh air to see the promotion finally pass on an immediate rematch and go to the next contender in line.
But if we’re going by the book and doing what’s fair rather than what’s profitable, then Rousey should have to fight Holm in a contender’s bout when she returns later this year. Holm already beat Rousey from pillar to post last November, and if not for some last-minute heroics by Tate, she would probably still be champion. But you can’t hate on the UFC for being business savvy. Rousey should be the one screaming from the high heavens for a rematch. Conor McGregor did it with Nate Diaz.
Would a victory for Amanda Nunes be as shocking as Miesha Tate’s was at UFC 196?
RK: I don’t think so just based on the idea that Nunes is on the rise and Holm seemed invincible after her knockout of Rousey. Tate definitely had the skill-set to upend Holm, but nobody thought it would happen because of her bashing of Rousey with such ease. I expect Tate to walk away the victor in this fight, but if Nunes were to score the victory, it would not shock me that much.
DD: It would be more shocking. Like a lot of the UFC’s divisions, the women’s bantamweight is top-heavy. Rousey, Holm, and Tate seem to be at least one step above everyone else (you might be able to add Zingano in that bunch, except for her inactivity). I gave Miesha a better chance of beating Holm than I plan on giving Nunes to beat Miesha. Sounds like a great fight now that I’m thinking about it. But yes, Nunes is a bigger underdog than Miesha was, and Nunes has not shown enough for us to think she is an elite woman of the division. A win for her would certainly be shocking.
TW: No. Nunes is an accomplished fighter and Tate, who was lucky to beat Holm, has never been dominant in the UFC. She is a scrappy fighter who always seems to find a way. I’ll give her that, but how long can that continue? She had a controversial decision victory over Sara McMann and had to get a decision win over Jessica Eye.
GP: Not really. In fact, I favor Nunes slightly over Tate although I won’t count Tate out. Nunes has the better physical tools and is the fresher fighter.But Tate is full of heart and will never quit. It all depends on the odds and how much of a favorite Tate is in the eyes of the public. Tate has never struck me as a fighter people expect to dominate. It’s just how she fights. She gets into close fights regardless who she fights.
JM: A win by Amanda Nunes would be even more shocking in my eyes.Styles make fights in MMA, and there was no doubt that Tate presented some interesting challenges for Holm at UFC 196. I never presumed the fight to be a wash even after watching Holm curb stomp Rousey.
This certainly isn’t to say Nunes has no chance against Tate. I simply don’t believe it’s a very good chance given her track record against upper-echelon contenders. Tate, Holm, Rousey and Cat Zingano have really separated themselves from the rest of division.
As it stands, is UFC 200 worthy of being the biggest UFC PPV of all-time?
RK: It’s definitely up there, for sure. They are still adding fights, so there is a chance it could continue to add immense star power that would undoubtedly make it the best. If it’s not the best as it stands, it’s damn close. But, I am sure there will be additions down the line that will bring it to being the biggest PPV of all-time. We shall see.
DD: I think, even as it stands now (incomplete), it nudges UFC 100 out of the way. More fights will be added, and they will surely just add to the immensity. We can only hope that injuries do not mar this card, because I would sure like to see the UFC’s biggest event yet. McGregor and Diaz again, Aldo and Edgar again, Miesha and Nunes, Velasquez and Browne, Gomi and Miller, Sanchez and Lauzon – what a lineup that is so far. I mean, if another title fight gets added on, we are talking about Velasquez and Browne opening the PPV; how crazy would that be? That is a main-event fight for most FOX or FS1 cards, and a co-main event for most PPVs. With as big as this card is building to be, it clearly stands above all others with how densely it is packed; just so heavy with talent.
TW: Not even close. For that to happen, they need to have their big-money draws on the card and they only have one in Conor McGregor. No Ronda Rousey, no Jon Jones, none of those elite fighters that draw crowds. Instead we’ve got Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, a fight we’ve seen before and Miesha Tate defending her title against someone who’s, at best, third in line for a shot.
GP: Not even close. The event will sell itself but we may have been spoiled by all the fantastic matches made heading into this event. From UFC 197 all the way to the strawweight title fight a night before 200, the UFC may just have stacked itself out of fights to put on 200. The majority of the champions have already been booked and their main fight for this is a non-title fight that already ended definitively not too long ago.JM: UFC 200 has me feeling like a fat kid staring into an ice cream parlor. There are treats everywhere!
But UFC 100 is still my favorite all-time pay-per-view lineup. That card had Jon Jones in the prelims for crying out loud. So I’ll refrain from judgement until I actually see UFC 200 in action. There are some stellar fights on that card. I would have loved to see the women’s strawweight title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha added.