Reebok-sponsored athletes Paige VanZant and former women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey apparently aren’t on the best of terms, despite belonging to the same elite group of the UFC’s most marketable stars.
Long-time rival of Rousey, Miesha Tate, who features on this month’s cover of Fighters Only, revealed a recent incident in which Rousey apparently unleashed a vicious verbal assault upon VanZant.
“So Paige was also at that VIP party, and Paige and I have spoke, we’re friendly,” Tate said on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Don’t know her that well. Anyway, she felt the need, she came up to me like, ‘Miesha, Miesha, Miesha, I have to tell you this experience I had with Ronda.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, what?’ And she’s like, ‘Well we were at a Reebok deal just recently, and we were at a shoot, and I was trying to find her so we could get a picture, and the Reebok people were like ‘Don’t ask Ronda for a picture.” She was like ‘Why?’ They were like, ‘Don’t, just stay away from Ronda, don’t ask her for a picture.’ She was like, ‘Okay.’
“And I guess Ronda came later that day and seeked her out. And just cussed her out. They’ve never really had a conversation either. She’s like, ‘I don’t know Ronda other than hi, bye.’ That’s it. I guess she came up, Ronda came up and was like, ‘F**k you, you fairweathered bitch. How dare you cross me.’ (Paige) was like, ‘Cross you? What are you talking about?’ And she (Rousey) is like, ‘You congratulated Holly Holm for beating me, so f**k you, you f**king fairweathered 115lb…’ She just went off on Paige.”
Rousey lost the UFC title to Holly Holm last November at UFC 193, suffering a defeat via KO. Tate won the title from Holm with a submission at UFC 196 in March.
“Paige came and told me and I was like, ‘Honey, welcome to my world,'” Tate continued. “She was like, ‘Oh my God. I’m glad that I saw this side of her so that I know.’ Because she didn’t understand. She told Ronda, ‘I’m sorry if that offended you, but I’m allowed to congratulate whoever I want. I congratulated Rose Namajunas when she beat me. I was like Rose, congratulations, you whooped my ass. That was a badass performance. I just simply told Holly congratulations, and it wasn’t anything anti-Ronda.’ But Ronda just ripped her a new one.”
Having a long-running feud with Rousey, Ronda’s supporters might assume that Tate had fabricated the whole story to show the former champ in a bad light. But
“It appears that I offended Ronda by congratulating Holly after her victory. The incident was very shocking and totally unnecessary,” Paige told TMZ.
With Tate scheduled to defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, it is possible we will see Rousey return to face the winner of the fight later this year.