UFC 196 will go down as one of the most surprising cards in recent times.
Conor McGregor suffered his first loss in the UFC to Nate Diaz and Miesha Tate dismantled Holly Holm to become the third UFC bantamweight champion in just four months.
Miesha Tate was originally handed the title fight against Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, before the UFC controversially removed her from the fight and replaced her with Holly Holm. Tate had been campaigning for a second title shot for months, and at the time seemed the most obvious choice. After being switched out, Tate was understandably furious and considered retirement.
Fast forward to March 2016 and things look to have played out perfectly for the former Strikeforce champion.
Not only did she avoid having to fight the undefeated Ronda Rousey who had already defeated her twice in the past, but she now also has the belt wrapped around her waist.
Following her win, the media quizzed Tate on what her next moves would be.
“The right move feels like drinking a Budweiser and eating cupcakes,” Tate said with a smile. “That’s what the right move feels like. Then I will talk to KHI, my management team and we’ll talk to the UFC.
“My job as the champion is to fight the next best person — so whoever that is I’ll fight them.”
So with no real demands from Miesha, where does she go next? Does Holly Holm get an immediate rematch? Does Amanda Nunes become the next female to have a shot? Does the UFC turn their attention back to Ronda Rousey?
Well, Dana White has come out and confirmed who that next opponent will be.
Miesha Tate’s first title defence will come against Ronda Rousey.
White confirmed that following the fight, he spoke with Rousey via text message.
“I think that Ronda now will fight Miesha Tate for the title,” White said. “That’s what’s going to happen. That’s what I said before this fight even happened. Whoever wins tonight will fight Ronda for the title.
“I texted Ronda — Ronda wasn’t watching the fight. I text Ronda and she said ‘what happened?’ I said ‘Miesha just choked her unconscious’ and she said ‘looks like I’ve got to get back to work.’ She’s scheduled to not come back until October or November but it doesn’t mean I can’t ask.”
Rousey is scheduled to film two movies during the summer, with her expected return likely to be late this year. With a new champion in town though, could we see Ronda return earlier than anticipated?