Sometimes MMA can be a serious game of “he said, she said”.
This time around that’s literally the truth when it comes to the opponents who did or didn’t turn down the opportunity to face UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey at UFC 157.
Both Rousey and UFC President Dana White revealed last weekend upon the announcement of her fight against Liz Carmouche, that only she stepped up to the plate and asked for the fight while other notable competitors turned it down.
Two names in particular were mentioned – former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate and former Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann.
Within days of the news that they had supposedly turned down the fight, both took up in their own defense and denied that they had ever been offered the shot at Rousey, much less turned it down.
Dana White’s not buying it however, and says there’s nothing wrong with turning down a fight against Rousey, he gets it, but don’t lie about it and say you weren’t offered the shot.
“Ronda Rousey is a bad ass, she’s the champ, her opponent stepped up to the plate and wanted this fight with her when others didn’t, I don’t give a (expletive) what they say. That’s a fact,” White said on Saturday night following the TUF 16 finale.
Speaking specifically about McMann’s claim that she was never offered the fight, White says he respects her decision to turn down the bout against Rousey, but he’s not backing down on the fact that she was offered the fight and she said “thanks, but no thanks”.
“She’s definitely one of the girls that’s going to be in it, but she said she didn’t say it, but she said it. She wants a fight or two before she fights Ronda Rousey, nothing to be embarrassed about, Ronda Rousey’s nasty. You want a couple fights before you fight her? That’s no big deal,” White said about McMann.
“But don’t walk around talking (expletive) that you didn’t say it, when you did say it.”
Currently, Rousey vs. Carmouche is the only women’s fight scheduled in the UFC, but more bouts are likely to be announced in the coming weeks. When and where McMann or Tate fit in is still to be determined.