Ronda Rousey seems to have found whatever "it" factor is necessary for breaking out as a major celebrity in the MMA world, and surprisingly beyond it. But exactly what separates her from her competition seems to be just a bit confounding for UFC cageside commentator Joe Rogan.
On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, he discussed Miesha Tate's recent comments about losing out on sponsors and about the crushing blow the UFC dealt to her by removing her from her planned bout with Ronda Rousey. Most notably, Rogan expounded on the idea that the UFC's lack of clear structure was hurting Tate's chances for stardom. (transcription via MMAFighting, starting at about 58:30 in the episode)
"That's one of the bad things about the UFC that people don't like," Rogan said. "Is that there isn't any clear structure. Like, when Miesha Tate won she was virtually guaranteed a shot at the title. 'Beat Jessica Eye, you've got a shot at the title.' She beats Jessica Eye, 'Eh, listen, you're not ready for that.' What?"
Rogan added that Ronda Rousey made $6 million from fighting last year, apart from sponsorship opportunites or other outside sources of income. As the second best woman in the division, Rogan posited that Tate probably isn't even getting a fraction of that:
"Then there's Miesha Tate, who is the No. 2 girl in the division. Arguably, even though she's lost to Ronda three[sic] times, she's the No. 2 girl in the division. How much do you think she makes? I mean, it's a fraction... It's a small fraction.
And it's not like she's not hot. She's hot as f**k, right? She's got a beautiful body. Great ass. Sorry I said that. Sorry, Miesha. All due respect, but she's a great fighter, too. She's very tough."
"But, Miesha probably makes a very, very small fraction of what Ronda makes and she's elite. She's an outstanding fighter. She's tough as shit, man. And people love her. It's weird."
Unfortunately for Tate, and despite any of Rogan's misgivings, it doesn't seem like a situation the UFC is going to change drastically any time in the near future. Rousey has shown herself to be a big earner for the promotion in a way that no other woman fighter has yet approached. Tate may be second best, but in terms of relevance to the division there's a massive gap between first and second.