Miesha Tate will end her near five-year retirement to face Marion Reneau in UFC Vegas 31’s co-main event, which takes place tonight (Sat., July 17, 2021) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be “Cupcake’s” first fight since 2016, losing to Raquel Pennington in what was at the time her last professional bout.
After she called it a day from face-punching, Tate — a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight champion — took a job with ONE Championship as the promotion’s Vice President.
And it was a cushy gig, too, that paid very well, according to Tate. In fact, she recently revealed that she walked away from the six-figure salary to return to her fighting roots, proving that for her mixed martial arts (MMA) is not just about the cash.
“When I make this comeback, I’m not doing it cause I have no other options,” she said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I’m not doing it because I’m hurting for money. As a matter of fact, I’m walking away from a six-figure job to fight.”
While she wouldn’t give exact figures, Tate explained how many times she would have to fight inside the Octagon to equal her yearly salary with ONE.
“I have to win three fights to make more than I would with my job at ONE Championship. Win three fights. So again, it’s never been about money for me. That’s not the No. 1 motivating factor.”
Job security is something everyone strives for, especially in the pandemic era where unemployment is at a significant high. But, Tate knows that the decision she made was the right one for her.
“Tough to give it up? No, because I know it’s the right decision, but I feel a little bad because ONE Championship was so good to me,” Tate said. “They’re continuing to support me 110 percent, which is just truly amazing. It’s not very often that you find a friend in the business world that’s successful but shares the understanding and the passion for the sport. I think that Chatri [Sityodtong] is a very special individual and that’s why I really appreciate his support.
“My No. 1 goal was to compete again,” she continued. “I need to do that for myself. The decision was already made. I knew if I had to quit with ONE Championship in order to fight for the UFC, that was the decision that needed to be done regardless of anything else. The decision was already made and it wasn’t so difficult.”
Tate, 34, is currently on a two-fight losing streak with her last win coming in March 2016, a submission victory over Holly Holm to capture the 135-pound strap (see it again here). Tate didn’t reveal how many fights she has on her current UFC deal, but a win will ensure that we will see her in the Octagon a few more times.
And who knows, if she can rack up some impressive victories in a hurry, a rematch against current division champion Amanda Nunes could be in order.
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