Miesha Tate would like to think of herself as a thorn in the side of Ronda Rousey, but she’s had to work hard to stay that way of late after getting crushed by the UFC bantamweight champion in two previous encounters.
In their first fight, Tate was unable to make it out of the first round with Ronda, and in the second, she succeeded in becoming the only UFC fighter to take Rousey beyond the first, but the fight was so lopsided that it seemed Ronda made that decision herself purely to punish her foe.
Now that she’s been shunned for a third match with Rousey, Miesha Tate is trying a new tactic: accuse her of being too chicken to fight someone else.
And in this case, that “someone else” is Cristiane Justino (aka Cris Cyborg, the reigning Invicta featherweight champion).
The comments were reported by Bloody Elbow but originated from a UFC Tonight broadcast in which “Cupcake” shared her views with Kenny Florian and Michael Bisping.
She started by talking about comments from UFC President Dana White, who said that he made the Rousey-Holly Holm fight in lieu of a third Rousey-Tate because losing to Ronda a third time would be a “career killer.”
Tate said it was “offensive” before discussing her thoughts on why Ronda Rousey really isn’t fighting Cyborg.
“From her whole career it was just 145 and 145 only at the beginning. It seemed like when the talks with ‘Cyborg’ became serious, it was like, ‘No, I’m dropping to 135.’Granted, she is the champion, but so is ‘Cyborg.’ They’re both dominant champions, one weight class apart. To me it makes sense to meet in the middle.”
In other words, Ronda’s dominance at 135 was born out of a fear of facing Cyborg, and she’s now hiding behind Cyborg’s checkered drug-testing past and obvious problems cutting weight to set herself up as fearless when she isn’t.
Here’s the video so you can hear it for yourself.
Many commenters online found the Miesha Tate comments to be demeaning, but more to herself than to Ronda (even though that was not the likely intent).
Essentially, by inserting herself into the Rousey-Cyborg debate and “backing” Cyborg, a fighter she’s never faced herself, Tate is finally accepting that she isn’t a top-tier MMA fighter any longer.
If Miesha Tate was serious about being an A-list women’s MMA fighter, the theory goes, she would be jumping at the chance to fight Cris Cyborg herself since it could be a while before Cyborg cuts enough weight to meet the UFC champ.
But what do you think, readers? Is Miesha Tate right about Rousey being afraid of Cyborg, and are Tate’s better days behind her?
[Image of Miesha Tate via screen grab, linked above]