Miesha Tate has at least one key figure in her corner regarding a title fight against Holly Holm: Holm’s striking coach Mike Winkeljohn.
In an interview with the UK’s Mirror publication, Winkeljohn said he believes Ronda Rousey needs more time before a rematch with Holm, and thinks a fight between his fighter and Tate makes sense for Holm’s first title defense.
“It will be a long road back for Ronda, I think she needs to get a lot of gym time in and really focus on her boxing skills because she’s really missing in that area,” Winkeljohn said. “To be honest I don’t see a rematch being much different to the first fight, I think Holly is evolving and getting even better every day so I think Holly would be very comfortable in a rematch and Holly would be victorious.
“In regards to who Holly should fight next, that’s Holly’s decision, but I think Miesha Tate deserves a chance, I think that makes the most sense.”
Tate’s won four straight fights since her second loss to Rousey, most recently defeating Jessica Eye at UFC on Fox 16 in Chicago in July. Holm’s title win over Rousey was her tenth, keeping her undefeated in her second combat sport.
Penick’s Analysis: I still don’t think the UFC’s going to book that fight and risk the big money rematch happening at UFC 200. That really seems the target for the organization, and unless Holm insists on fighting sooner and defending her title, enough so that they give credence to making the fight happen, Tate’s going to be left on the outside. Still, this is at least somewhat encouraging for Tate, because if the champ’s team believes that fight should happen next, and Holm herself wants it to happen, that could be enough to sway the UFC.