Miesha Tate has the unique “honor” of being the only woman to fight Ronda Rousey twice. She lost both times, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t game for a third go-round if the stars ever aligned. In fact, she described the hypothetical opportunity as, “a dream come true.”
That doesn’t mean the spotlight — first in Strikeforce and then on a whole damn season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) versus a very hyped up Rousey — didn’t weigh heavy on Tate at the time. In a long sit down interview with Megan Olivi, Miesha broke down the situation and what the pressure was like.
“I was in the middle of it and I don’t think I could appreciate it for what it really was,” she said. “Because I was really focused on the rivalry and the true dislike that we had for each other. But, now I look at it and I say I’m really grateful. I’m really grateful to have had somebody like Ronda as that foe. It needed two parts. We needed that to make people care just beyond a sport, right?”
“Maybe after she has kids she’ll want to come back and fight again. Who knows? Like, that would be a dream come true. But honestly, I look at it so different. I’m so thankful to have that. Not just maybe what it did for the sport, but I can truthfully say what it did for me. It did amazing things and she was the perfect person to have standing across from me.”
A big theme for Miesha’s comeback is how she’s unburdened this time around after a big shift in her personal life and coaching situation. She’s no longer dating or being coached by former UFC fighter Bryan Caraway. She’s married to teammate Johnny Nunes and has two kids. Her support network seems better than it’s ever been.
And who knows how far she can go with all that rediscovered potential?
“Every day [feuding with Ronda] was very challenging,” Tate said. “To have that type of rivalry because I had so much that I put on my plate already, so many other battles that I was trying to fight that adding one more especially one so big and in front of the rest of the world was ... just a little to much. I look at myself and I don’t think I was able to put my best foot forward because I was so buried under the pressure and the emotions.”
“And I’m trying to compartmentalize the best that I can, but I wasn’t only fighting Ronda. I was fighting my personal life, I was fighting myself, and you just can’t do that and be the best version of yourself. You’ve gotta pick a focus and have the other things be quiet in your life so you can really harness and give everything that you have. And I think when I look at myself and the storyline of my life, it was ‘in spite of’ ... that I was addicted to that adversity, I had to get through that adversity and that’s how I won.”
“And now I look at it and was like, ‘What if I never needed any of that?’ What if I took it out of my life and allowed myself to be the very best version so I don’t have to have all those micro fights before I get to the big fight?”
Tate fights Ketlen Viera in the main event of UFC Vegas 43 this weekend (Sat., Nov. 20, 2021), a fight that could put her one step closer to the women’s Bantamweight belt should she emerge victorious. Make sure to keep it locked to MMAmania.com for all the updates regarding the card (and if Rousey comes out of the woodwork to respond to Tate).
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 43 fight card click here.