Miesha Tate will indeed be defending her Women’s Bantamweight Championship before fighting Ronda Rousey, as it was announced on Wednesday’s UFC Tonight program that Tate will face Amanda Nunes at UFC 200.
The 29-year-old champion captured the title from Holly Holm last month, choking her out in the fifth round at UFC 196. Holm had been angling for the rematch, to the point she turned down a potential fight with Cris “Cyborg” Justino in Brazil at UFC 198, but the UFC opted to go a different direction in Nunes.
Nunes has won three straight fights, and five of six overall in the UFC. That run has seen her score stoppage wins over four opponents, including former Title challenger Sara McMann. She defeated Valentina Shevchenko by decision on that same UFC 196 card last month in her most recent performance.
UFC 200 will be headlined by the welterweight rematch between Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor and lightweight stalwart Nate Diaz on July 9, airing live on pay-per-view from the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
Penick’s Analysis: I’m not sure I understand this booking, because a Nunes win throws everything into upheaval by the time Ronda Rousey returns. Now, Tate may very well be better than Nunes, and given Nunes propensity to fade in the rare occasion they leave the first round – she nearly gave away the Shevchenko fight in the third round and lost to Cat Zingano late after dominating early – it’s very possible that Tate winds up the victor. However, putting that major money fight with Rousey at risk doesn’t seem smart in this situation. With the Holm rematch they’d at least have Rousey’s opponent clearly set regardless of which of them won. Here, they run the risk of losing out on having either opponent against Rousey, and it doesn’t seem like the right call. In a vacuum, Tate-Nunes is a really good fight, but with the Rousey factor it seems like the wrong fight to make right now.