Miesha Tate wants Holly Holm next: ‘I’m ready to go’
Holly Holm’s second-round knockout of Ronda Rousey sent shockwaves through the entire MMA world, but nowhere bigger than in the women’s bantamweight division where Miesha Tate has eagerly been awaiting a title shot.
Tate was originally expected to face Rousey following her win over Jessica Eye in July that moved her to 4-0 over her past four fights. Tate has fallen to Rousey twice before, but her recent win streak moved her back in line for a title shot until the UFC opted to make the fight with Holm instead.
Now with Holm cemented as champion, Tate hopes to get her crack at the belt having never before faced the boxer-turned-mixed martial artist while also expecting Rousey to take some much needed down time following the brutal knockout loss just over a week ago.
"Here’s why I think the fight with Holly and I makes sense: For one, I haven’t ever fought Holly before. For two, I was Ronda’s biggest challenge until Holly so obviously I’ve proven that I’m a standout in the division and so is Holly," Tate told FOX Sports. "If Holly would beat me, then they could still set up that great rematch that they want between her and Ronda. If I beat Holly, then I’m 5-0 and I beat the girl who beat Ronda, what better case could they ever make to have me fight Ronda again? I think that fight sells itself."
Just moments after the fight between Holm and Rousey ended, Tate erupted at the viewing party she hosted where she blasted the former bantamweight champion in a verbal tirade with a crowd of fans cheering her on.
Tate admits the moment probably got the better of her considering her long-standing grudge with Rousey and now the disdain shared between the two fighters is well known.
"There was an overwhelming amount of emotion," Tate said. "Everything from feeling like that was supposed to be me in there accomplishing that, that was supposed to be my title shot to liking Holly to disliking Ronda to seeing everything Ronda created kind of blow up into her face because I feel like with a lot of the comments she made and has continued to make during her career she’s come across as very arrogant and how she charged forward on Holly at the weigh-ins and then somehow tried to act like she was the victim. I didn’t see it that way at all. How she wouldn’t touch gloves with Holly, how she wouldn’t shake hands with me after the fight was over. These are all things that show more of her true character. None of us are perfect, but I’ve seen Ronda demonstrate that time and time again where I don’t feel like she’s a very good person.
I am the No. 1 contender. I’ve been the No. 1 contender and I worked my ass off to get to be the No. 1 contender
— Miesha Tate
"I’ve said it many times and I don’t agree with how she treats people sometimes. Me and my loved ones she’s been very harsh towards. She said many things to create the animosity that I have towards her. Do I still have a ton of respect and admiration for her as an athlete? Absolutely. Do I think that I could have handled that situation a little bit better? Yeah, I don’t think that I handled that the best but at the same time it was this sweeping, overwhelming sense of emotion and it just kind of got the best of me. I’m not apologizing for it but admitting that I’m human and that probably wasn’t the best way that I could have handled it but I did handle it that way so I’m just going to accept it and move on forward."
As Tate puts that moment behind her, she can honestly put herself in Rousey’s shoes now that she’s dealing with the first loss of her career and how it can be difficult to come back from that. Rousey has yet to make any kind of public appearance or statement since the fight outside of a lone post on Instagram just days after the fight ended.
Tate believes Rousey needs time to rest and recover and it’s already been well documented that she has a couple different film shoots coming up in early 2016 that could further delay her return to action.
"If you flip it upside down and look at it from Ronda’s point of view, I don’t think that she should be getting right back in there. She’s obviously going to be on medical suspension for a while. That means she can’t even go for a jog for probably at least a month after that brutal a knockout and receiving two unanswered punches after that. She got a very severe concussion and she’s not supposed to get her heart rate up or her blood pressure up. I know, I’ve been there. I know what the doctors are going to tell her so she’s in no way, shape or form able to enter a training camp any time soon," Tate explained.
"But what does this do to Ronda Rousey mentally? She has never been in this position before so how does she deal with that? I don’t know if it’s smart to ask Ronda Rousey to get right back in there and face the girl who just knocked her block off. Because mentally, I think Ronda’s going to be in a completely different place and a place she’s not familiar with and I think she’s going to be punch shy and I think if she got right back in there against Holly, she’s going to get picked apart even worse and Holly’s going to have a new-found confidence and Ronda’s going to have a big seed of doubt in the back of her mind saying, ‘Man I couldn’t do it last time.’ And she’s going to have more doubt than she’s ever had in her career."
That’s not the case with Tate, however, as she believes she excels at getting through a tough situation. She’s gone through heartbreaking losses and come out on the other side as a better person and a better fighter.
Recently, Tate has put together the total package from her training to her execution inside the Octagon and she believes it all adds up to another title run if the UFC will give her the chance to take it.
"I have proven that I can come through adversity. Ronda has built herself up to be a superhero, as someone that could never be defeated. I’ve kind of built my legacy on no matter how many times you knock me down, I’m going to get back up and I’m going to beat you anyways. I’m going to get through that adversity, it doesn’t matter what you do to me, I’m going to come back stronger for it," Tate said.
"I don’t see myself breaking ever in a fight and I think Ronda was broken in that fight. It’s just different. I think I’m more comfortable on the feet and not to say that I think I’m a better striker than Holly, I wouldn’t venture that far by any means, but I think I’m more patient and I don’t think I would be quite as desperate to run in like a bull chasing a matador. It’s about time, it’s about experience and I think that the fight is an entirely different matchup and I like that matchup with Holly. I think it would make a fantastic fight."
Timing also plays a big part in the UFC’s decision whether or not to move forward with Holm defending her title against another fighter or waiting for Rousey to return. The rumored date for a potential Holm vs. Rousey 2 is UFC 200 in July 2016, but that means the rest of the women’s bantamweight division will go on hold for the next eight months while there’s already a true No. 1 contender waiting in the wings.
Tate wants nothing more than to get the title shot she was already promised and hopefully face Holm in the first quarter of 2016 with the winner welcoming Rousey back to the Octagon a few months later.
"The only reason I didn’t get that title shot was because I had fought Ronda twice already. That was it. Other than that, I am the No. 1 contender. I’ve been the No. 1 contender and I worked my ass off to get to be the No. 1 contender," Tate said. "In my mind, I think this fight should go to me in the mean time in maybe three months and then as Ronda’s filming her movie and getting what she needs to get to recover. I think for Ronda’s first fight back, if she wants it to be a title shot, I think that it should be because I think she’s earned that.
"The thing is she’s going to be out too long and I’m ready to go and I think Holly’s ready to go so let’s set it up in the mean time. When Ronda comes back she’ll have a quality champion to face."