Sara McMann says potential fight with Miesha Tate is ‘not off the table’
Sara McMann had spoken to UFC officials and verbally agreed to fight Miesha Tate. So it was somewhat of a surprise to her when she heard the rumblings that Tate and Bethe Correia were going back and forth about a bout on social media.
McMann told FOX Sports she pays very little attention to what’s happening on Twitter and who is calling whom out. All she cares about is what she’s being told by the UFC.
"She was offered the fight against me and I haven’t heard back yet," McMann said of Tate.
Tate said in an AskMen.com interview earlier this month that she wants Correia next. And Correia responded in kind, though she said she would rather get a title shot against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey next. Rousey is currently set to face Cat Zingano for the belt at UFC 182 on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas.
McMann (8-1), who lost to Rousey in February, doesn’t understand all the posturing. She just wants to fight someone in the top five, which currently consists of Zingano, Tate, her, Alexis Davis and Sarah Kaufman, respectively.
— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) September 21, 2014
"This is what I think of that: If you cannot beat me, you will not beat Ronda," McMann said. "You are looking for a title fight, not looking to be a titleholder. You shouldn’t have an easy path to go there."
McMann, 34, is a former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. She didn’t get to cherry pick her opponents in her previous sport and doesn’t care about doing so now, either.
"I come from a sport where you put your money where your mouth is," McMann said. "If you want to fight somebody and say you’re going to fight somebody, you do it. Call me crazy."
It’s not really a surprise that so few people want to fight McMann. She’s a dominant wrestler with exceptional athleticism and strength. Her fights are not always the most exciting, but they’re almost always extremely effective. The UFC had to go out of the organization to find someone to fight her in August. McMann defeated Lauren Murphy in a split decision that she controlled on the ground throughout. McMann was hoping to face Sarah Kaufman for that fight, but Kaufman was injured in a car accident in May.
"I present a potential roadblock to [a title fight]," McMann said. "If they can’t knock me out and can’t submit me, odds are they’re not going to beat me. I can pretty much control where the fight goes."
Rousey did knock out McMann with a knee to the liver in just over a minute at UFC 170. McMann felt like she had much more to give in that fight and is determined to get a rematch — whether the undefeated Rousey is champion or not.
McMann doesn’t feel like she’s "far off" from seeing Rousey again. Fighting someone like Tate, who has already lost to Rousey twice, would put her back on the right track. That’s still the fight she wants next, even if Tate doesn’t share her sentiment.
"As far as I know," McMann said, "it’s not like it’s off the table."