Former Strikeforce women’s champ Miesha Tate was as happy as any fighter on the planet when she heard the news that Ronda Rousey was going to be the first female competitor signed to a UFC contract.
Yes, Tate and Rousey are still rivals, and no, there’s no love lost between the two competitors, but hearing the news that the former Olympic bronze medalist had signed with the world’s biggest MMA promotion was a great thing for all women’s fighters.
Tate understands that Rousey has earned the lion’s share of attention lately, but it was more than just her that not only made history when she landed with the UFC. It was a landmark moment for all women’s fighters.
“It’s not just Ronda, it’s not just myself, that’s for sure. If Ronda’s coming over to the UFC obviously there’s going to be a division around that, it’s not just Ronda. I know Ronda’s getting a lot of the credit and what not, but she didn’t have a lot to do with from the ground up,” Tate told MMAWeekly Radio after the news was announced.
“We’re at the top of the mountain now that’s kind of how I feel anyways, with this accomplishment coming into the UFC, we’ve kind of reached that final goal. But we had to start at the bottom and a lot of the pioneers Tara (LaRosa), Marloes (Coenen), Molly Helsel, the girls that were really fighting back in the day before we were making any kind of money, or there was any kind of publicity, or much acceptance of it.”
From Gina Carano’s emergence through Elite XC and then into Strikeforce, from Bodog Fights putting on some of the first mainstream women’s bouts all the way back to the women’s fights that took place in the Hook ‘N’ Shoot promotion, the women have been waiting for a moment like this forever and now it’s here.
“We were fighting for this, right here, right now. She’s getting a lot of the credit and the limelight, but people who follow the sport understand there was a lot more getting to this point. I hope people can recognize that and give all the women that have worked really hard some credit,” Tate stated.
As far as her own future goes, Tate hasn’t been told specifically about a UFC deal, or when she would make that transition, but with the conversations that she’s had, everything is looking very positive.
“I would love to be a part of the first women’s MMA fight in the UFC, but if I’m not I’m not going to focus on the negative. I’ve just been thinking about that a lot, my goal is to get into the UFC regardless and at this point I consider myself in the UFC,” said Tate.
“It’s happening, Dana’s made it very clear that it’s happening, and amongst personal talks with him and Sean (Shelby) and everyone I’m definitely pretty sure the UFC’s in my future.”
Tate’s main focus is getting that first fight in the UFC, and making the most of the opportunity, but she knows at some point down the road, she will meet Ronda Rousey again and this time the stakes will be even higher.
Tate and Rousey had one of the most heated rivalries of all of 2012, and their fight was one of the biggest Showtime aired this year. Now if both ladies are going to be in the UFC, the rivalry will hit all new heights.
“Our rivalry is very real. I know a lot of people don’t believe that Ronda can’t be beaten, that’s she’s just untouchable, but I beg to differ,” Tate stated.
“If I do get that rematch in the UFC, it’s going to be one hell of a fight.”
Check out the clip below for the full interview with Miesha Tate talking to MMAWeekly Radio: