EXCLUSIVE | New ONE Championship exec Miesha Tate feels industry has been undergoing a power shift

Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate is the latest high profile mixed martial arts star to sign with Singapore’s ONE Championship — but she will not be fighting for the promotion. Instead, the former UFC bantamweight champion will be working as a ONE Championship executive and color commentator.

Tate was in attendance at ONE Championship’s ONE: HEART OF THE LION card in Singapore on Friday, and despite having just arrived in the city and being plagued by jet-lag, graciously fielded a few questions from the media in attendance.

“We haven’t hashed out the details,” Tate told BJPENN.COM of her new gig with the Asian promotion as Giorgio Petroysan battled Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy elsewhere in the arena. “We landed at 1:00, and it’s been kind of go, go, go, besides a short nap due to jet lag. I think this weekend we’ll sit down and talk about exactly what it is [I’ll be doing]. I do know that I’ll be commentating and I know that I also know that I’ll be working as a coach at Evolve [MMA]. Beyond that, we still have a little working out to do of the details.”

Although she confessed that she was navigating a bit of a jet-lag induced haze, Tate said that she was very impressed by her first glimpses of a live, ONE Championship show.

“It’s incredible,” she said of the action unfolding in Singapore. “It’s really incredible. I was basing this transition just primarily off my relationship with [ONE Championship Chairman and CEO] Chatri [Sityodtong]. You know, I think he’s incredible man. I love what he stands for. I remember when I came out here two times prior to this with the UFC, he really opened his doors to the gym for me to train there and you know we just had great conversations and you don’t forget a conversation like that. And I think what he stands for as a martial artist himself, and the way he represents his organization is a perfect fit for me.”

For Miesha Tate, the principles of Chatri Sityodtong and ONE Championship are a welcome change, as she’s long been subjected to the drama that has become so common in North American promotions.

“For myself, I think I’m a purist when it comes to mixed martial arts,” she explained. “I love the fact that ONE Championship appeals to the true martial arts fans and the true martial artists. It’s not about who has the biggest mouth, who can talk the biggest trash, it’s about who can get in there and fight the best and put on the best performances. To me, that speaks to my heart. That’s why I got into martial arts. When I got into martial arts, 12 years ago or more — if you want to count my wrestling career it’s probably been about 17 years that I’ve been doing this — it wasn’t about who could talk the biggest smack. It was about who could be the best fighter, and that’s what ONE is about.”

ONE Championship has had a massive few weeks, having recently signed former UFC champions Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson to its roster of fighters, and now Miesha Tate to its team of executives. With all of this excitement and growth unfolding, it’s hard not to wonder if ONE Championship could soon be legitimately competitive with the UFC.

Tate believes we might have already passed that point — we just haven’t been getting the full picture.

“I think that there’s been a power shift, I just think that the Western media didn’t know about it, to be honest,” she said. “I think that we were receiving the information we were receiving but if you really look at what ONE is doing in Asia… ONE is the UFC in Asia. You know, I want to compare because that’s where I’m from, you know everyone where I’m from is all about the UFC, but you come here, and it’s all about ONE Championship. The UFC comes here, and it’s not quite the same. So again, I think that the branding of it, it speaks to the honor and it speaks to the true martial artist. I think that it fits over here well. I think it actually has a better appeal with the Asian culture, which is right up my alley too, so I think it’s the perfect home for me.”

Stay tuned for more details on ONE Championship’s signing of Miesha Tate as they emerge.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/9/2018.