I thought to myself, ‘Well, this is the route you chose, Tate – now you’ve got to get your ass off the floor and deal with it’. I finally realized what I was there to do, and accepted the harsh truth – this wasn’t a wrestling match… it was a fight!
Without a second thought, I tried everything in my power to get out of a potential submission and start kicking her ass again. I bucked her off like crazy, she slipped into the guard position and that allowed me to get up on my tip toes and wail away with punches as hard as I possibly could. Blood was going everywhere. It was all over my face and her gloves. I didn’t care anymore.
Now fully amped and excited, I walked back to my corner at the end of the round with a spring in my step, eager for the next round to hurry up. I now understood what I was there to do and realized what being a fighter was all about. I wanted more of it. Unfortunately, it was at this very moment that my trainers looked at me with disgust, in a way that suggested my nose and face were beyond repair and that I had no chance whatsoever of going another round.
They made an executive decision and pulled me out of the fight, something which obviously bummed me out a little bit, but, in hindsight was the right decision. After all, I wasn’t getting paid for the fight and all medical expenses were on my head.
Still, I quickly knew after that fight – after the blood had dried and my nose returned to its normal place – that MMA was the sport for me. I was pushed beyond my limits, physically and emotionally, and yet was still craving more at the end of it all.
I was all fight, not flight.
My March 3 challenger and opponent, Ronda Rousey, has never faced this type of make or break moment during her 4-0 mixed martial arts career. Yes, she was very accomplished as a judo player, winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, but she has yet to taste her own blood in a grueling MMA bout. She’s yet to prove she can battle back from any adversity at all. Questions have never been asked of her.
All four of her MMA wins so far have arrived inside the first minute, and she has yet to face anybody that has so much as tested her, let alone come close to disfiguring her face and beating her. She’s been carefully matched, she’s been pampered and she’s been protected. The truth is, going into this world title fight with me, Ronda is still to discover whether she is even a real fighter.
However, on March 3rd, the night we meet for my STRIKEFORCE world bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey will learn just how hard and horrible the sport of mixed martial arts can be. I will take great pleasure in dragging her into deep waters for the first time in her life and then drowning her there…
For more updates from Miesha Tate, follow here on Twitter @MieshaTate
STRIKEFORCE®: TATE vs. ROUSEY will air live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).
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