UFC women’s bantamweight champ Miesha Tate will defend her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, but the fight most fans still want to see is a rematch between the champ and former champ Ronda Rousey. In an FO exclusive, Tate speaks out on her long-time nemesis.
“For me, I want to do it again,” she says with a shrug. “I’ll fight Ronda as many times as they’ll let me. As many times as it takes for me to beat her. I keep saying the third time’s a charm. I’ve always been that kind of person, when you hurt me I come back harder and stronger, and I don’t diminish or break. That’s something I’ve always prided myself on. It’s just something you have or you don’t. Fight or flight. I only have the fight in me.”
Rousey, of course, is in a different place. She hasn’t fought since losing the bantamweight title and her undefeated record in a stunning upset loss to Holm at UFC 193 in Melbourne last November. Holm then did Tate a huge favor by offering her a route back to UFC gold. Likewise, Tate has now offered up Rousey an alternative path back to the belt – one that looks more favorable for ‘Rowdy’ than a return against the woman that knocked her unconscious and took her title.
If fans were wondering, the UFC has no doubt about what happens next. The pairing is a promotional dream. Dana White, the UFC president, believes Tate will fight Rousey next. At least that’s the plan. “Ronda will now fight Miesha Tate for the title – that’s what’s going to happen,” he told media in Las Vegas. “That’s what I said before this fight even happened. Whoever wins (between Holm and Tate) will fight Ronda for the title.”
So there we have it. Rousey-Tate, or perhaps now we should call it Tate-Rousey, has become a rivalry for the ages, and it is arguably greater now than it has ever been. Like Ali and Frazier, Shamrock and Ortiz, Tate and Rousey’s names and fighting spirits will go down in history with their two names intertwined. Tate knows this.
“What I really enjoy about the rivalry is that Ronda always gets the most out of me,” Tate adds with a smile. “She makes me a better fighter. She makes me more competitive and makes me want to work harder. I really think because of her I am a better fighter and a better athlete.”
Read the full interview with Miesha Tate inside the May edition of Fighters Only – on sale now.