Women’s Strikeforce bantamweight fighter Miesha Tate joined the MMA Fight Corner recently and updated us on what’s next for her, when she plans to fight again and also gave us her thoughts on Dana White announcing that there will be a women’s division in the UFC.
UFC President Dana White uttered something that nobody thought he’d ever say. After running the UFC for nearly twelve years, and shrugging off the possibility of having a women’s division for the duration of his tenure, White announced recently that the organization was “absolutely” committed to bringing in a women’s division.
“I hate to say I told you so I guess I just always knew it would always happen because the more and more I watch the ladies fight and how hard we work. I’m really glad to see it finally materializing honestly a little sooner than I anticipated. But, I think we’re definitely ready to take it on,” Tate said of the news.
Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey has proven to be a phenomenon, submitting everyone she’s faced in her pro MMA career via armbar in the first round. While Rousey got White to pay special attention to women in the sport, Tate hopes that the performance she put on against Julie Kedzie on Strikeforce’s last card in August, ‘Rousey vs Kaufman’, also played a role in opening White’s eyes to what kind of depth and talent exists in women’s MMA.
“I know that was a barn burner, I know we had a great fight, everyone said it was Fight of the Night. For the women to steal the show, yet again, I think it had to say something. I think absolutely it had to influence Dana’s opinion that it’s not just Ronda Rousey that’s out there that’s able to carry the whole women’s division, that there’s more of us that can fight. He also really took some awesome note of Julie Kedzie, and she’s been out there a long time. So, I’m really glad that she was able to get some recognition and how tough she is and what a good fight she brought to the cage that night.”
Dana had even tweeted while watching Kedzie and Tate fight: “WOW! Now I know who Julie Kedzie is. Great 1st round.” For Tate, White taking notice of their fight meant a lot.
“It was definitely a moment to remember because he’s been one of those guys that’s said for the longest time women will never be in the UFC, you’re not going to see it happen, don’t ask. And to kind of see him to humble himself and say ‘Wow you ladies can really fight’ and to hint around at the possibility to bring us to the UFC, and then to confirm it now, it’s awesome. I think if we can change the perspective of a man like that, who was so against women’s MMA, it says a lot in what we can do with the future of women’s MMA and changing everyone’s mind, not only to accept it, but to enjoy it.”
When the women can finally take front and center in the Octagon, most likely the bout that will be featured is Ronda Rousey vs Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. Rousey is a 135-pound champion and for Cyborg making 135 would be very difficult. So, it’s still up in the air which weight the two would fight at, but Tate gave her opinion of what could happen.
“I think if it goes at 135 then Ronda has the upperhand. I just think at that weight that Cyborg’s going to have to cut so much weight, it’s really going to affect her athletic ability, her endurance, her explosive, her musculature, her entire build. She’s not only going to have the cut the weight, she can’t cut that amount of weight. She’s going to have to diet it off, she’s gonna have to lose the muscle and after a long lay-off there’s a lot of things that are there that could potentially affect Cris in a not so positive way.
“But at 145 we’ve seen Cris she’s really powerful, she’s just a beast at that weight. She definitely have the favor at that weight. So it depends on whatever weight they agree on. I don’t see Ronda coming up, so I think Cris will probably have to come down, but I’ll definitely be rooting for Cris to win. But, I have to give Ronda credit where credit is due, she’s great at what she does and at 135, she’d probably have the advantage.”
Since Tate lost the bantamweight title to Rousey in March this year, she’s been working on her comeback and getting to fight Ronda once again. If they get a rematch, Tate said there are things that she’d change the second time around.
“I think not playing into Ronda’s game as far as like the mental aspect. I think I just went out there and I just had too much emotion going in that fight. I usually don’t fight with a lot of emotion, I usually try to fight more intelligently than that. And I kind of went out with guns blazing and I just wasn’t the smartest fighter. I made a mistake, I made a couple mistakes, that eventually led to me losing the fight. But if you dissect the fight up until to that point, it tells me that I have the ability not only to hang with her, but I have the ability to beat her.”
So for now, Miesha’s content to take a year off, regroup, better herself in all and areas and comeback even sharper than before. “If and when I get the chance to fight Ronda again, which I do believe will happen, I’m going to bring everything I have. And I’m going to use that loss from Ronda as a learning tool. So when I fight her again, I’ll really have learned from those mistakes.”
But if Rousey vs Tate 2 happens, will it happen in Strikeforce, or the UFC? Strikeforce has cancelled it’s last two events and rumor is they’re deal with Showtime is on thin ice. As a fighter within the organization, Tate weighed in on if Strikeforce will last.
“Honestly if I was a business person…I wouldn’t think so. I think the women have been a huge draw for Strikeforce, and we’ve been their saving grace. I don’t mean to sound cocky or anything, but honestly I really think we’ve been one of the biggest draws as the UFC’s been absorbing a lot of Strikeforce’s stars into the UFC. What’s left to draw is really the women’s MMA, if you take that away, what’s really going to draw ratings for Strikeforce?”