Before the two face off at UFC 168, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey obviously have some bad blood. But before The Ultimate Fighter, even before their first bout, Miesha had a consistent distaste for the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion.
Tate, to this day, still feels as though Ronda does not deserve her position as title holder. Not that she hasn’t won the fights that have earned her the title, but rather disagrees with the hype that surrounds her. Tate still believes that Ronda was simply at the right place at the right time, and entered the sport during its rapid rise into popularity.
“Every single woman that fights MMA has done just as much work as Ronda has, we just haven’t gotten as much turnaround,” Tate said to FOX Sports. “Those women who came before her haven’t been on magazine covers, they weren’t plastered everywhere by the UFC. They didn’t get the same reward back. She got 10 times back what she was putting in and maybe everyone else was getting 1 to 1.”
Miesha refuses to believe that Ronda is any sort of pioneer to the sport. And though Miesha has beef with fighters such as Tara LaRosa she views her as much more deserving of a term like “innovator” and “pioneer” than Rousey.
“I’m gonna talk about that,” said Tate. “I’ve been there and experienced it. I’m gonna share some of the limelight. These are the girls who deserve a pat on the back.”
Tate (13-4 MMA) at age 27 had been training in MMA for many years and was already a pro fighter when Rousey (7-0 MMA) entered the MMA game, though Ronda had won an Olympic bronze medal in judo in 2008.
Rousey is now 7-0 in her MMA career. All coming by first round arm bar victories. Her last victory coming at the expense of Liz Carmouche for the first ever UFC Women’s Bantemweight title. Tate feels a bit bitter considering her seventh fight was for an organization called Freestyle Cage Fighting and wasn’t any where near the glamour of the UFC.
“I know what it was like to be fighting for breadcrumbs and not to be taken seriously,” Tate said. “I didn’t just jump into this. It’s no disrespect to Ronda, she’s a great athlete. But there’s another side to the story that people aren’t seeing. Girls didn’t get the same things Ronda has gotten.”
Many have said that Rousey single handily brought women’s MMA into the public eye’s attention. This includes UFC President Dana White as well who has stated multiple times that it was Ronda’s performances that caught his attention and convinced him to promote women’s MMA in the first place.
However, Tate has a different view of how it all went down. She sees it that Rousey was the first woman to really speak her mind and talk trash, and that’s what really caught White’s attention.
“She runs her mouth,” said Tate. “She’s very loud, very boisterous, very opinionated. Love her or hate her, you take notice of her. I think that’s the biggest thing. She’s different than most of the girls who fight in MMA.”
Miesha stated that she believed Ronda appeals more to the WWE type crowd.
“A lot of fans out there have the WWE mentality,” Tate said. “Those are the fans that fell hook line and sinker and loved her. She was that controversial one, that shit talker, she started drama.”
It began to drive Miesha crazy when Rousey began to call her out. And although Rousey was a new comer, she was being pushed up the line.
“I was really resentful and pissed off,” Tate said.
However, Tate knows that after The Ultimate Fighter she is just as popular of a name as Ronda, and she knows that this Saturday is her chance to face Ronda and replace her as the poster girl for women’s MMA and is someone (in her eyes) is much more deserving.
“That motivates me,” said Tate. “I think about the sacrifices I had to put into this sport and the girls before me, they sacrificed even more.”
Miesha is hoping to bring the title back to those who “fought for breadcrumbs”, back to true pride fighters in her opinion, back to those who fought “only for the love of the sport”.