When Miesha Tate heard Gina Carano was coming back to Strikeforce, she wanted a piece of her for her comeback fight. While not officially announced, Carano is expected to make her return to MMA in June at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum.
"I asked for that fight," Tate said Tuesday on Bloody Elbow Radio. "I just threw it out there, I was like, 'Hey, how about me fighting Gina for her comeback fight, wouldn't that be awesome?' And I didn't really get any response, so I have no idea. But if it does happen, it'll probably be down the road a little bit. I have a belt to win."
That belt is the Strikeforce women's welterweight championship, currently held by Marloes Coenen. Tate was scheduled to fight Coenen earlier this month at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson but had to pull out due to a knee injury suffered during wrestling practice.
Even though she wants the belt, Tate recognizes the benefits that come with fighting Carano, who has been involved in some of the highest-rated fights in MMA history. Her last fight, against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in August 2009, was, up until Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, the most watched Strikeforce broadcast on Showtime. Her fights with Kaitlin Young and Kelly Kobald were seen by millions on CBS.
"It's beneficial to me," Tate said of why she wants the fight. "Sharing the limelight with Gina is always good. She's got a lot of fan base and exposure. At the end of the day, that's a lot of what gets you paid if you have a big following. When your contract renegotiations come around, you can say, 'Hey, people want to watch me fight.' So I think that fight would be really appealing to me because I think I have a lot to gain from it, win or lose. A lot of people are going to see me out there, see me fighting because they want to see Gina. Hopefully a lot of her fans have become my fans and supporters."
Tate, though, also has her eyes set on Coenen's belt, a fight she's hoping to get once again once her knee is fully recovered in a few weeks. Coenen successfully defended her title against Tate's replacement, Liz Carmouche, in Columbus, Ohio, but needed an Anderson Silva-like triangle choke in the fourth round to do it after losing two of the first three rounds on all three scorecards.
"She just looked a little off," Tate said of Coenen. "Maybe 135 is starting to take a toll on her. It looked like she kind of gassed out a little bit and that could be a result of cutting too much weight. Liz, pound-for-pound, is a very strong girl, you can tell that. She's just a little green. Marloes was able to prevail and she's obviously got a big heart, there's no question about that. She got the submission in the fourth round, but had it been a regular fight, she would've lost."
Ater the fight with Coenen, though, Tate wouldn't mind a fight with Carano, which she'd prefer to happen at 140 pounds. Tate said "given the right circumstances," she'd fight Carano at 145 pounds.
That of course, opens up questions on whether or not she'd fight Santos, Strikeforce's women's middleweight champion, at 145 pounds.
"Gina's a little different then Cyborg," Tate said.
"First of all, I'd need a lot of time to train for it because I'd have to change my body. Naturally, I'm just a lot smaller of an athlete. Cyborg is actually a monster at 145. She's as small as she can get and is very lean. She is a true 145-pounder, if not bigger. Some other girls are not true at the weight, they could probably shed some pounds and fight at a lighter weight. That would have to come in time. I definitely think everybody's beatable and I wouldn't doubt that I could beat Cyborg. If I did, I wouldn't be in the fight game period. I always have to believe in myself. And it'd have to be the right payday as well."
You can hear the entire interview with Tate by listening to Tuesday's edition of Bloody Elbow Radio. The show returns at 4 p.m. ET Thursday with a full preview of UFC 128.