In perhaps the most anticipated women's mixed martial arts (MMA) match of all time, women's bantamweight champ Miesha Tate will take on Ronda Rousey on Saturday for the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) Strikeforce. The two women, who are being marketed in a sexy campaign, have clashed outside of the cage, as well, sparring about using their looks for promotion.
The women, who fight in the bantamweight class of 135-pounds, have been on a media tour in the past few weeks leading up to the cage match on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, which will air on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET.
On Showtime's official YouTube channel, ads for the Tate-Rousey fight are labeled Sexy Promo, featuring the women in sexy, leg-baring cocktail dresses before a fight montage, juxtaposing the fight while capitalizing on sex appeal.
The two girls are easy on the eyes, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told USA Today. But these girls are very dangerous too.
Similarly, Shannon Knapp, a former employee of UFC and Strikeforce, agrees with the campaign.
Whether they're pretty or they're not pretty, they've earned that spot, Knapp told USA Today. I think that Showtime and I think that Strikeforce has really put a lot of effort into it in marketing it and I commend them for that.
But the buzz about the Tate-Rousey match isn't just regarding the fight itself, but a verbal spat between the two women about that sex appeal marketing. Tate said that Rousey uses her good looks and loud mouth to promote winning titles.
I just don't like the fact that she wants to try and say she deserves more because she's marketable, Tate said. No, You need to earn your keep. You need to fight the best. You need to get there by winning fights, not by saying you're pretty.
But Rousey doesn't care about being friendly with other fighters.
I wasn't looking to make friends in this sport, Rousey said. It doesn't matter if people don't like me because it's mostly current or former champs who think everyone should throw petals at their feet. Honestly, I don't care if a bunch of girls I don't know don't like me.
Tate can dish it but she has trouble taking it, according to USA Today.
What it says is, if you are the type of marketable (person) that we're looking for and you run your mouth enough, you can get a title shot, Tate said. That kind of takes away from the legitimacy of the sport. ... (But) this is a mixture of where we have to entertain the fans, as well. With that taken into consideration, I think they made the best decision to ensure the future of women's MMA in matching Ronda and myself.
When it comes to fighting, though, Tate plans to fend off her competitor quickly and easily.
I want to test everything, Tate said. I want to push her way beyond her limits to the point where she mentally breaks and she realizes she shouldn't have talked so much crap before the fight. She should've been more humble and respectful.
Leading up to the fight on Saturday, view the slideshow to see photos of these pretty MMA fighters, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey.