Miesha Tate was a Strikeforce women’s champion and is the only person to take Ronda Rousey out of the third round. She’s paid her dues in MMA, earned her title shots and doesn’t think Gina Carano skipping the line for a UFC bout with Rousey is fair.
"No, absolutely not," Tate told FOX Sports. "There’s no way. I think there’s no way that would be fair or right. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would say that would be fair."
Carano met with UFC president Dana White on Wednesday. There have been no reports about how the meeting went or what was discussed, but the rumors have been rampant that Carano, the original face of women’s MMA, could make a comeback and fight Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title.
To fuel those rumors, both Rousey and White said Wednesday at a media luncheon in Los Angeles that Carano deserved a shot at the belt because of everything she has achieved for women’s MMA. Never mind that she hasn’t fought since 2009 and is coming off a loss to Cris Cyborg.
Tate said she understands that MMA is "entertainment" and the fans might want to see Rousey and Carano face off. There’s little doubt that fight, between two women who are now making movies in Hollywood, would have some serious mainstream appeal. But Tate has a better idea.
I think there’s no way that would be fair or right. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would say that would be fair.
-Miesha Tate on Gina Carano getting a title shot
"I would love the opportunity to fight Gina," Tate said. "If she’s gonna make a comeback, I think anybody that wants to get to Ronda, I think that they should have to go through me or Liz [Carmouche] or somebody that’s proven themselves as giving Ronda a pretty tough go."
Tate meets Carmouche at FOX UFC Saturday on April 19 in Orlando. The winner will not be any closer to a title shot, because both have already lost to Rousey and Tate has fallen to her twice, the most recent a third-round submission at UFC 168 in December.
But Tate realizes that if Carano comes into the UFC and loses right away, then a fight with Rousey would have no juice. So she understands why the UFC might throw Carano right into the title picture when more quote-unquote deserving fighters like Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis are available.
"Sometimes you gotta give and take — give the fans what they want," Tate said. "No it’s not fair, but it’s entertaining and a lot of people would be interested in that."
As for what would be next for her if she beats Carmouche, obviously a fight with Carano interests her, but so would bouts against Davis and Holly Holm, the former champion boxer who has made an excellent transition into MMA. The UFC has not signed Holm and White said he’s not currently interested in her.
Either way, Tate questions the quality of opponents Holm has fought. Davis, who is 3-0 in the UFC, might be the more realistic bout.
"She’s just kind of a quiet girl and falls away into the shadows," Tate said. "A lot of people don’t notice her, because she doesn’t have an ounce of drama. But she’s beating everybody. She’s established herself as a top contender."
So has Tate despite the losses to Rousey. Tate knows one day Rousey’s unbeaten streak will end, perhaps sooner rather than later. Maybe it will come against another fighter who isn’t in the UFC: Cris Cyborg. Tate isn’t a fan of the Carano fight, but she’s behind Cyborg getting a shot at Ronda if the Invicta 145-pound champion is signed by the UFC.
"Of course," Tate said. "They’re both the best in the world at their own weight division."