The mixed martial arts (MMA) career of Miesha Tate, in my opinion, was just as good as the MMA career of longtime rival Ronda Rousey.
After all, Tate (18-7) held the women’s bantamweight title for both Strikeforce and UFC, appeared on many of the same magazine covers as “Rowdy,” and even beat some of the same opponents, like Liz Carmouche and Sara McMann.
Sure, Tate was taken out by Cat Zingano, a fighter that Rousey finished with ease, but Rousey (12-2) lost to Holly Holm, who was promptly choked out by “Cupcake” in her very first title defense, so once again they are standing on fairly even ground.
And to be fair, the longstanding feud between Tate and Rousey, which started in Strikeforce, continued on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), and ended in UFC, played a very important role in bringing women’s MMA to the forefront.
But UFC President Dana White was fascinated by Rousey and her violent finishes, forged as an Olympian on the women’s Judo circuit. They quickly became “good fucking friends” and Rousey plowed forward with the full weight of the UFC marketing machine behind her.
And that meant making decisions that were best for business, regardless of who got trampled along the way.
“I would feel the same way as Nate does,” Tate told Sirius XM Fight Nation (via MMA Fighting) in the wake of the Stockton slugger’s recent meltdown. “I remember when I threatened retirement because I was so pissed off that they had promised that I would fight Ronda and then they ended up switching that out and having Holly [Holm] but they didn’t tell me. It’s the same thing that happened to Nate, essentially, it’s just that Nate was in front of everybody. I was pissed too, believe me.”
Diaz was paired off with Dustin Poirier at the UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) in New York, perhaps expecting to share the top half of the card with money magnet and longtime rival Conor McGregor. Instead, “Notorious” will compete at UFC 229 in October.
“I was mad but they don’t care,” Tate said. “They know that they have a strong arm in a lot of this and it doesn’t really matter. Or if they do care, it’s not enough. Like, ‘I’m sorry but this is what you have to do for business.’ You can’t really argue with them. They’re the ones who are gonna make the final decision, so what can you do? What can Nate do?”
He can follow this guy’s lead.
“Having a talk with Dana White helps but it still stings because he’s not the one to have a filter on,” Tate concluded. “The conversation was like, ‘Yeah, but you’re not Ronda Rousey.’ It’s part of just recognizing that. I have a different value than Ronda and hers is what it is and mine is what it is so I have to continue to work to build mine even more. What else can I do? Get back to the grind. You just try to leverage yourself as much as you can but there’s a point where you don’t have the leverage. You don’t have the final leverage, the UFC does.”
Nate is not McGregor, at least in terms of value to UFC, though based on this historic promo, it probably has nothing to do with skill set or mass appeal.