Strikeforce: Miesha Tate extra motivated to impress in women's title fight against Marloes Coenen

Photo via Fight Magazine

And that's because she knows exactly what's on the line.

Before Zuffa purchased Strikeforce and Gina Carano fever was in full swing, women's MMA looked healthy. It wasn't booming but at the very least, people were watching.

Now that Carano has seemingly lost her "Conviction" and the champion that stole her will, "Cyborg" Santos is tied up with contract issues, interest is waning and it's noticeable.

That's why, when given the opportunity on a major fight card, the women involved, fair or not, have to come through big time to convince "ignorant" men like UFC President Dana White that women's MMA belongs.

Miesha Tate understands this and tells MMAFighting.com she is extra motivated -- and hopes Marloes Coenen is too -- to put on one hell of a show in the co-main event of Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" on July 30:

"I wouldn't call it pressure, I'd call it motivation. I don't feel it as though, there is weight on me, necessarily, I just feel like it's something extra motivating to really want to go out there and put on a great performance. That's why I say again and again that I hope Marloes comes the best that we've ever seen her so that we can truly put on an amazing show and show that we're the two top talented great women. I don't like the fact that women's MMA as a whole gets judged on one fight. We don't get as much opportunity for exposure so there's a lot riding on the shoulders of the two individuals, the two women that get in there. That's the only fight that we get on TV. ... There's definitely a lot more riding on our shoulders to put on an exciting performance."

Sex appeal, like it or not, will always be a major selling point in women's sports, hence, Carano's quick rise to fame. Tate and Coenen both, arguably, of course, possess this, along with incredible talent inside the cage, and July 30 is their chance to prove to the world they belong on the big stage next to Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson.

Tall order. After the jump, hear more from Tate on the state of women's MMA and her upcoming title fight against Coenen this Saturday night.

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