Barb Honchak and Miesha Tate discuss getting prepared for fights with slaps to the face

Barb Honchak and Miesha Tate talk about knowing what you need before a fight, even if it's getting slapped in the face.

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- Welcome to Beyond TUF. I am Karyn Bryant alongside former UFC champion Miesha Tate; reigning middleweight--

- Defending, undisputed--

- OK, Michael Bisping is here.


- Also, this week's big winner, Barb Honchak. So welcome to the show. Congratulations on your win. One thing I want to ask you about is the slap-- the preparation. Eddie slapped you before you walked out to fight. What's the story behind that?

- I asked him to. Well, I warned him. I warned him prior to fight day. I said I might ask you to slap me. And I think he wasn't so sure about it when I asked him.

MIESHA TATE: He looked nervous. He really did. He looked more nervous than you did. When he was going to slap you he was like, I'm not really sure about this.

BARB HONCHAK: Yeah, and when he did, he was kind of gentle about it. And I had to tell him, harder. You know? Because he didn't do it hard enough.

MICHAEL BISPING: Hold on. You had to tell Eddie to do it harder?

MIESHA TATE: Get your mind out of the gutter.

KARYN BRYANT: To be fair, it's in the spirit of the Clay Guida. It's in the spirit of trying to basically wake yourself up.

MIESHA TATE: I've been there. I've been there.

BARB HONCHAK: Right, yeah.

MIESHA TATE: It's like you want to get that first contact out of the way. You want to wake up before the fight starts. Because if you have a history of slow starting, which I had sometimes, too-- it's like, you want to get that first hit in the face out of the way so you're just ready.

MICHAEL BISPING: I'm starting a new business- [INTERPOSING VOICES] professional woman slapper before MMA fights. All right? I got a lot of experience.

- He's already [INAUDIBLE] don't slap him.

- I've had a lot of experience getting slapped.

- I'm going to slap some tape on his mouth.

- Give it to me. Give me your best shot. Go, I'll take more.

KARYN BRYANT: Well if you were getting slapped beforehand, you said that you have done that in the past. Did you have any sort of other pre-fight ritual? I mean, was being slapped, for you, part of your wake-up process before walking out?

MIESHA TATE: It so change. Through over a 10-year evolution of my career, things that I needed changed. Sometimes I felt fast. Sometimes I felt slow. And it's knowing yourself as a fighter and what you need in that moment. And like she said, I may need you to slap me. Maybe she wouldn't have needed it. But she adjusted in the middle of stride and was like, I do need that. It's knowing yourself as a fighter, being a veteran, and kind of figuring out what works for you, you know? I had that yell for a while. That worked for a little bit. And the slaps worked. And sometimes I just had it, and I didn't need any of it.

KARYN BRYANT: Mike, what about you?

MICHAEL BISPING: Yeah, no, not really. I don't really need anyone to slap me in the face. Generally, what I opt for is letting someone nearly knock me out in a fight. That kind of wakes me up. [MAKES DIZZY SOUND EFFECT] I'm like, oh, OK. Yeah, we're in a fight.

MIESHA TATE: You should just have your wife backstage and just have her lay you out.

MICHAEL BISPING: Oh, I get slapped with her every day. So you know I mean? I haven't got to think too far.

KARYN BRYANT: In general, Barb, how was your vibe with Eddie in terms of the relationship? Because that is something that's so difficult. Obviously, you guys know from both competing and being coaches. But you know, that relationship is not really the same as your die-hard coach that you're used to. So what was it like for you getting ready to go out there and fight with guys that aren't really your normal team?

- Sure, and I recognize that right away. I've switched teams enough now that I know I had to develop a rapport with the coaches really quick. So if I needed something or if I needed to do things differently, I tried to be really open with them in letting them know, hey, I need this or, can we do this? And they were always really receptive to it. And so I tried really hard from the beginning to be very honest with them and to get to know them as fast as I could.

- Yeah, for a coach to make any kind of impact on a fighter or whatever it is, it's a relationship. It's about trust in a relationship. And you have to trust what they're telling you. And if you don't build that relationship, then the trust isn't there. Anyone can hold pads and say, do this, do that. But to get into this and coach this and make them believe in themselves, you've got to have that relationship and the trust.

MIESHA TATE: And when you're on The Ultimate Fighter, you don't have all the time to teach everybody everything. So it's really about being a mental support, and a moral support, and just trying to give them whatever support system that you can as a coach.

MICHAEL BISPING: And if you fail in that, just give them a good slap.

MIESHA TATE: Yeah. If not, just smack them right in the face. Smack them. Get a the chance to

- But Barb, with you being a former champion, did you feel that you maybe had a better rapport because of that, or a shorthand that you could talk to the coaches about because you've been to the top already?

- I mean I don't think it's necessarily because I was a champion, I do think I've been in the sport for a decade and that has helped me to know what I need. And I'm not shy to tell them what I need. I've gone through different coaches and I've done coaching. I've coached other people. And so I know the communication is important. If somebody I'm coaching doesn't tell me what they need and I haven't figured it out, that's not good for anybody.

MICHAEL BISPING: But [INAUDIBLE] that you're not there to help anyone else out. You're there for you. You're trying to win. So you're not there giving pep talks to the rest of the team. I'm not doing anything.

- I mean, there was a little bit of that because the group that you get on the team-- that is your team. Those are the people--

MICHAEL BISPING: No, no, no, you're right. When they're fighting, correct.

MIESHA TATE: But you don't want to give that extra little extra something, right? I mean, it's like you do what you need to do.

BARB HONCHAK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MICHAEL BISPING: Maybe even give them the wrong advice.

MIESHA TATE: You're not teaching them your weaknesses or anything.

MICHAEL BISPING: Shout out to escape a submission incorrectly, right into the submission deeper.



- Put some extra salt in there when you're cutting weight. Extra salt helps.

KARYN BRYANT: Nice. Nice. Well, now we know Michael's tricks and everything.

MICHAEL BISPING: I don't care about anyone but myself.



MIESHA TATE: Now GSP knows, too.


MIESHA TATE: Good job.

KARYN BRYANT: Well, thanks for joining us this week, Barb, and you as well, Miesha. That is it for--

MICHAEL BISPING: What about me?

KARYN BRYANT: TUF-- I was getting to that.

MICHAEL BISPING: Chopped liver?

KARYN BRYANT: I was getting to that.

MICHAEL BISPING: My word. Well done, Barb. Well done, Miesha.

KARYN BRYANT: Be sure to watch TUF Talk every Wednesday, starring Michael Bisping and me-- right after The Ultimate Fighter-- 11:00 PM Eastern, only on FS1.

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