Miesha Tate already has her first UFC bantamweight title defense set in stone against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, but a potential trilogy with former champ and long-time nemesis Ronda Rousey (with the title on the line) still seems to be the fight most fans want to see.
Rousey is apparently interested in facing Tate in her comeback, though the champ isn’t best pleased with her adversary’s rumored motivation.
“Some people have been saying that she’s said, ‘I’ll come back for one fight against Miesha Tate because I know that I can beat her, and then I’m retiring,'” Tate said on UFC Fight Pass show The Exchange. “That she doesn’t want to fight Holly (Holm). I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have heard that. If it is true, I find it disrespectful.”
Despite having suffered submission losses to Rousey in both their previous bouts, Tate’s confidence is the highest it has ever been after she pulled off a submission win of her own over Holly Holm to win the title back in March.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do (to beat Rousey), but I know that I am the strongest that I’ve ever been,” Tate said. “And here I stand at the best moment of my career, the most confident that I’ve ever been, the best version of Miesha Tate, and she’s at the worst. She’s at the lowest point of her career.
“I think she’s second-guessing whether she even wants to be in it. Even talking about retirement or contemplating that, saying she’s only going to come back for one fight, I would expect things like, ‘I need to get right back in there right now, I’ve got to prove this, I’m going to go on another title run.’ Those are not things that I’ve been hearing from her.”
Tate continued to question Rousey’s resolve, pointing to her own experiences with adversity: “Where does her heart really lay? I’ve gone through the toughest of times. I’ve been head-kicked and knocked out before. I’ve lost to Ronda twice; that was the most devastating thing that ever could have happened to me inside my career. But here I am. I’ve made myself better for it. And I don’t recognize that in Ronda. I don’t recognize the same desire, the same passion, the same willingness to overcome that kind of adversity. I don’t see that in her.”
Tate vs. Nunes takes place July 9th at UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A date for Rousey’s return has not been announced, though rumors point to late 2016/early 2017.