UFC women’s bantamweight title contender, Miesha Tate (right), has been coaching on the UFC’s reality-television show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ opposite current champion Ronda Rousey. As this season of TUF continues, Tate expressed her pride in women’s MMA and her disappointment in Rousey as the women’s champion.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Miesha Tate, current coach on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and title contender in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, has been keeping a blog on Yahoo describing her reaction to and experience on TUF. In her most recent posting, Tate lauded the accomplishments of women fighters for bringing the sport where it is today, and she also expressed disappointment and distaste for her opponent, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
“I did see the Yahoo Sports story Kevin Iole wrote about how the ratings for TUF go up when there’s a women’s fight in the episode. I can’t lie, it felt really good to see that the UFC fans, not only MMA fans but fans of the UFC who maybe hadn’t seen any female fights before February of this year, look forward to watching the women fights so much. People like myself have been pushing, competing and promoting female MMA for a long time, and to see the fans accept a female division in the UFC so quickly is vindication that all that hard work amounted to something.
“I’m a woman who’s been in a man’s sport since the age of 15 and to see people finally seeing what I saw right from the start that female fighters are just as good ‘pound-for-pound’ as our male counterparts. I feel a lot of pride in all female fighters – the UFC didn’t do this half-assed when they decided to bring in the female division, they really put everything behind it – and we took that spotlight and proved we deserved it.”
Tate went on to discuss her opponent and the coach opposite to her on this season of TUF, Ronda Rousey.
“I went to shake Ronda’s hand. The gesture was one of solidarity, ‘You and I were a part of another great female fight, this is what female fighting is all about and these two women we trained just did every female fighter proud’. (sic) But, instead, Ronda flipped me off. I’m kinda happy they showed that on TV because Ronda did it at least 20 times before then and it was edited out. But, honestly, she stuck her finger up to me literally every time she saw me for weeks and weeks.
“While I find it interesting that this was really the first time the producer showed Ronda flipping me off, I really think the viewers are getting to see the real Ronda this season – and it’s not pretty. She’s got a great skillset and as an athlete she’s awesome. But she’s not interested in building female MMA, she’s interested in building Ronda MMA and then leaving for movies or something else.”
Tate would go on to criticize Ronda as a champion and figurehead for women’s MMA.
“There’s a responsibility to represent female MMA that comes with being the champion, just as there’s a responsibility to represent and promote the show when you coach TUF. It grates on my nerves that Ronda isn’t promoting this season, which fans are saying is the best for a while, because that’s what we as established fighters signed on to do: to share the spotlight with these fighters who desperately want to join us in the UFC.”
Having gone through ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with Rousey and spending a lot of time with the champion, Tate has a newfound confidence in being able to defeat her opponent.
“People have asked me what I’ve learned about Ronda from doing TUF with her. Basically, I’ve learned she’s a lot more emotionally unstable that I ever could have realized if I didn’t see her day-in, day-out for six weeks. I’ve learned that I can work her from a different angle, from a psychological angle.
“I’ve never used ‘psychological warfare’ in my career before. This is an unexplored aspect of the sport for me. I’ve never tried to get an opponent crazy or emotional on purpose to mess with their preparation or distract them. I know Ronda tried – and to a point succeeded – in making me emotional ahead of the first fight. She has said that’s how she beat me the first fight.
“However, now I’ve left that anger, that dislike of her behind me, she can’t affect me emotionally like she did when we fought in Strikeforce. And what I think is happening is that because she can’t have this effect on me, it is almost like she’s become more emotional instead. I didn’t go into TUF wanting to make her go crazy, to cry all the time, to get furious and scream all the time, but that’s what happened. I think it is a huge mental victory for me ahead of our December 28 fight to know that, one, she can’t get inside my head anymore and, two, to know how fragile she is emotionally.”
Be sure to catch all the action from the current season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ The show airs Wednesday nights 7/10pm on FOX Sports 1.Tags: miesha tate, mma, MMA NEWS, Ronda Rousey, The Ultimate Fighter, The Ultimate Fighter 18, TUF, TUF 18, ufc, ufc news