MEXICO CITY — Miesha Tate said she wanted to fight Bethe Correia and that has not changed. But, at this point in time, a bout with Sara McMann just seemed to make more sense.
"[McMann] probably does more for my career fighting her, if I beat her," Tate said Wednesday before her bout with McMann was announced on UFC Tonight. "She’s an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. She’s really, really good. It says a lot beating someone of her caliber."
Tate (15-5) is in Mexico for UFC 180 to help promote UFC Fit, which just launched in the country. She and Mike Dolce, the face of UFC Fit, gave a presentation to Mexican media Wednesday morning at the Camino Real Polanco hotel. Tate did not let the cat out of the bag at the time that she was going to meet McMann at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. But she did explain her reasoning for being interested in that fight.
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"I think having a win over Sara McMann says more about what I’m able to do and how I’ve evolved," Tate said.
That’s not to say a matchup with Correia isn’t something she wants. Tate told AskMen.com last month that she was hoping to get the Brazilian striker next, because she was hoping for a standup battle, unlike her past two fights against Rin Nakai and Liz Carmouche. Tate and Correia have since gone back and forth in a spirited Twitter battle.
"She just kind of has that big-headed mentality to think anyone who wants to fight her is her enemy or whatever," Tate said. "For me, it’s not like that."
I think having a win over Sara McMann says more about what I’m able to do and how I’ve evolved.
Tate, 28, really wants another rematch against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and she knows her best bet to do that right now is by beating McMann. Tate is ranked No. 2 among women’s bantamweight contenders in the UFC and McMann, who has also lost to Rousey, is No. 3. No. 1 Cat Zingano challenges Rousey at UFC 184 on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles.
Correia still remains on Tate’s radar, though. Even if it won’t be her next fight.
"She keeps saying, ‘I’m on the rise, you’re on the decline,’" Tate said. "We’ll I’m ranked No. 2 and you’re estill ranked No. 8. Hold your horses. You’re writing a lot of checks that your mouth not be able to cash."
As for McMann (8-1), she told FOX Sports last month that the Tate fight was the one she was targeting since beating Lauren Murphy in August by split decision. McMann was somewhat surprised that Tate was calling out Correia when there was a fight on the table between the two of them.
"I come from a sport where you put your money where your mouth is," McMann said in October. "If you want to fight somebody and say you’re going to fight somebody, you do it."