Tate is the current Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, having defeated veteran Marloes Coenen to capture the title late last summer. "Takedown" is one of the strongest female wrestlers in MMA and will be looking to legitimize herself as champ with her first title defense.
Her challenger, Ronda Rousey, is a reigning Judo Olympic bronze medalist. She transitioned to mixed martial arts after Beijing and hasn't looked back, winning all four of her professional fights (and all three amateur bouts) inside the first minute via armbar. She talked her way to the title and has become an MMA media darling in the process.
Rousey talking her way to the title doesn't sit well with Tate, who was hoping to defend her belt against former champion Sarah Kaufman, the last woman to defeat her. This should make things interesting on today's call.
We'll have complete updates of the Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.
1:10 p.m. We're also joined by lightweights KJ Noons and Josh Thomson.
Scott Coker: Derek Brunson didn't pass his medicals. He will not be fighting Jacare. They are looking for another opponent for Jacare for next week. Brunson's issue was not severe and they don't expect him to be out for long.
Miesha Tate: I think it's good to add the aspect of beauty because it's different. I like it. I think it's good for us. I think it's great that we've both embraced being beautiful strong women but the most important thing is that we deliver inside the cage. It's perfectly fine to have both.
Ronda Rousey: I think part of what makes this fight so exciting and so anticipated is we're competing in unarmed combat, two girls that look like Xena Warrior Princess going at it. I think it's going to be a huge fight and it's going to change women's MMA.
Scott Coker: We felt very good about putting this fight together. When you think about mixed martial arts, you have to think about the entire scope of the athlete. Ronda has been in the Olympics and she's had more matwork than many top women's fighters.
Josh Thomson: We did something different for this camp and I'm nervous for a guy like K.J. but he's been in there with top guys and we felt it had to be done. We really cut back on the conditioning and the workload that I was doing for training in that camp. We're hoping it pays off. I look better and felt better in the gym than I have in years but I don't want to be a gym hero, I want to perform on fight night and deliver a good performance. I didn't feel strong in my last few fights, like when I was on my seven fight win streak and I have to get back to that. I've been training 12 weeks now and I'm just focusing on making sure I'm in really good shape for this fight given that K.J. likes to push the pace and I'm making sure I'm in shape for all those things.
Josh Thomson: We cut out more of the intense stuff, the plyometrics and double workouts during the day. I was getting hurt, injured a lot and my body was breaking down. Gray Maynard and Justin Wilcox and some great kickboxers have helped me out. I've had really good athletes helping me so I'm excited for this fight.
Ronda Rousey: Judo is a great grappling art for MMA. It's one of the few ones where you can do takedowns and change your levels. It's one of the best for the clinch and it's one of the few grappling arts that emphasize transitions. One of my major goals for when I started MMA was to push not only women's MMA but judo. Judo has been going down in the past few years but I see guys like Jon Jones doing judo throws all the time now. It's all about timing and doesn't require the muscles of wrestling. It's about conservation of energy.
Ronda Rousey: I think we're similar enough that I understand the comparison [to Brock Lesnar] so I don't think it's unfair but I also understand that he won, so I have to do that too.
Miesha Tate: I think that there's a lot of hype coming into this fight. Ronda has a lot of hype as well and I don't think she's as deserving as Sarah Kaufman or Alexis Davis. That doesn't mean she's not as skilled or hasn't earned it, but I understand why they made this fight.
Ronda Rousey: I don't have anything personal against her. I think if we met under different circumstances, we would have ended up being friends. I kind of created this rivalry on purpose because I have enough friends and I could use a few enemies. I can understand why she's upset because I've been saying things I normally wouldn't say to people's faces.
Ronda Rousey: I need that pressure. I want to feel like I'm backed into a corner. I want to make sure that I have no other options so I want to fight like I have no other options.
K.J. Noons: I kind of put my foot in my mouth when I said I wanted to get a title shot and it bit me. I'm superstitious so I don't want to say anything. Look at my track record, my fights are always fight of the night. I'll be ready.
K.J. Noons: It's something that's in my blood. Almost every single fight I've had, it's always been fight of the night. It's not whether I'm trying to make Fight of the Night, it's that when.
Scott Coker: Both of these guys are at the top of the division. We give shots based on performances.
Miesha Tate: It's been a lot more work than I've had to do in any of my fights but I'm not completely unfamiliar. I was in the co-main event with Marloes Coenen so it's new to me. I don't work a 9-5 so I when I'm done training, I do my PR and media work. It's important that I get out there and make sure that people want to watch this fight.
Ronda Rousey: I remember this Sunday, I had the whole day to do nothing and I was going crazy. I was stressed out from free time so I don't mind being busy.
Miesha Tate: I'm not really worried about the armbar and the biggest mistake I could make was to focus only on what Ronda can do and will do instead of what I will do. I've been really focused on implementing on what I'm gonna do and be proactive instead of reactive.
Miesha Tate: I'm sure Ronda has more than only an armbar. I'm not a believer that she's a one-trick pony. I'm going into this fight prepared for anything and everything. I've been preparing for all of it. I want to finish the fight, obviously, that's the goal. This could be a very competitive fight and I have to be prepared for all five rounds. I'll always, always be looking for the finish.
Ronda Rousey: I didn't want to sit around and be polite and say "Please" and "Thank you" for years working my way up. I felt I was good enough to fight for the title and that's what I went out and said.
Miesha Tate: I think it's funny that Ronda was the first one to break eye contact. I think I can see right through her. I think she's all talk and I'm not buying into her at all.
Miesha Tate: I think there's gonna be holes in her game. When you've been training one specific art for so long, that becomes your habit and your first nature. I don't care how many times you spar, there's something invaluable about the times you spent in the cage that you learn about yourself. When she gets in the cage, she has a lot of bad habits that come from judo that are going to be hard to break. As a mixed martial artist, I've been trying to perfect the sport of mixed martial arts for six years. She's maybe thrown like five punches in her whole fight career and she's in for a surprise when she's not able to throw me around like she did previously.
Ronda Rousey: It's not the fans and media that make me feel I have to be exciting, it's the situation of women's MMA in general. We're fighting for the entire sport every time we fight.
Miesha Tate: We have a responsibility to really try to help out the other girls because Ronda and I are getting the opportunity for the limelight. When you have very little opportunities for exposure, you've got to get the most bang for your buck. Women's fights get maybe one spot on a main card. When we only get that one small opportunity to shine, we don't have that broad spectrum of fights, everything gets based on that one fight. There's added pressure in the fact that a lot is riding on our shoulders for the future of MMA and how people see it.
Scott Coker: It's business as usual. We've been supporting women's mixed martial arts fights ever since we've been able to promote them.
Miesha Tate: Wrestling isn't all about brute force although I think it's a rougher sport, more grinding, more pressure but when it comes to the throws, it's all about leverage. There's different styles of wrestling, freestyle, greco, collegiate. There's a lot of different ways that you can do it. Jon Jones is not a judo player, he's a wrestler. The techniques that he's using without a gi, that's wrestling.
This concludes today's call. Thanks for stopping by everyone!