Miesha Tate has been training hard over the last several weeks in the hopes of gaining another victory and keeping her title, but on Saturday night, she was forced to give it up to Amanda Nunes in a tough battle that ended with Tate clutching a broken nose as she addressed the press.
Tate said that she “played with fire” during the match and admitted that Nunes proved just how dangerous she was in the very first round.
“I’m obviously disappointed in what I did tonight. I knew that Amanda was a fast starter, and I played with fire a little too much. But, you know, she caught me. I wasn’t able to recover, and I was hoping to drag this fight out a little later. Like I said, I knew she was dangerous in the first round, but with that said, it’s always going to be a learning experience,” Tate said.
Miesha previously battled Holly Holm for the belt and came out the surprise winner after Holm took on MMA favorite Ronda Rousey and won. Saturday night’s fight was hugely anticipated, especially after fans began to grow restless as other fights on the bill proved to be a bit slow. Nunes said after the fight that she came out hard but forced herself to get things under control because she was well aware of how Tate is able to recover during the second round.
“The first thing I saw, she was already a little bit hurt. I controled myself because I know [Tate] comes back strong in the next round,” Nunes said.
Miesha last updated her Instagram right before the fight, but she hasn’t taken to the social media site to let fans know how she’s doing or what the extent of her injuries is.
It’s unclear whether all the media attention prior to the fight caused Miesha to lose her focus; it’s something she was worried about last week as she prepared for the final days before the match. Miesha said in an interview with Fox Sports that she was making a point to stray from talking about Ronda Rousey, which was difficult because reporters bring it up constantly. Tate and Rousey have fought twice, with Tate saying more than once that she wants a rematch. Rumors flew around the web for weeks that if Miesha won the fight against Nunes, she’d be taking on Rousey one last time for a shot at redemption.
“I’ll politely ask not to talk about Ronda because I’m not fighting Ronda and we don’t know what’s going on with her, but they will anyways and then they caption that one section if I politely answer something. All the articles are about me and Ronda and it’s quite misleading that I’m focused on her because I’m not. I’m really trying to stay focused on Amanda. That’s the biggest battle I’ve really had to fight is with the media. That’s been the biggest frustration,” Miesha told Fox Sports.
Tate seemed to get in a dig at Rousey recently when she spoke about how staying focused on the present is the most important thing to her — not making movies and getting caught up in promotions.
“The thing is that you have to keep your eye on the task at hand and the prize at hand. What do you really want? That’s the question I have to ask myself. What do I really want? And to me the most important thing is to defend my belt. It’s not making movies, it’s not anything else. If those things can fall into place at a time when it makes sense, great. But in the middle of my training camp or anything that’s gonna affect that at all? You’ve just gotta tell them no. If those opportunities are there now, they’ll surely be there after I defend the belt successfully again. That’s the way I kind of look at it,” Miesha Tate told MMA Fighting.
[Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images]