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Miesha Tate: A third fight with Ronda Rousey would go very differently

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Miesha Tate is confident that a third fight with Ronda Rousey goes differently. 

Miesha Tate during a media scrum at UFC 260.
Miesha Tate during a media scrum at UFC 260.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Miesha Tate wants to avenge some of her career losses, with the completion of a trilogy between her and fellow former champion Ronda Rousey at the very top of her list.

Several weeks ago, Tate announced that she was coming out of retirement and returning to the UFC to meet Marion Reneau at an upcoming Fight Night scheduled for July. The former bantamweight champion had not competed since 2016 after what was her final Octagon appearance at UFC 205, where she lost to Raquel Pennington by unanimous decision.

Now that she has returned to competition, Tate has her sights set on another championship run, but would like to meet some of her previous opponents along the way to redeem herself. On a recent episode of SiriusXM’s Fight Nation, Tate laid out the order in which she would prefer to meet these women.

“Ronda first, Cat [Zingano] second and Holly [Holm] third, “ said Tate. “Well, Holly I already beat her, so you know, she wants a rematch with me more but definitely Ronda would be prime. That would be first for sure and then Cat is a close second.”

Tate and Rousey had quite the rivalry that began under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner and moved over to the UFC once both women joined the promotion. Tate put her Strikeforce title on the line in 2012 and lost it when she was submitted by Rousey with an armbar in the first round. More than a year later, and after a coaching gig on the eighteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Tate and Rousey fought again — now for the UFC title — and while the fight lasted much longer, “Cupcake” was submitted with an armbar yet again.

Spending time away from competition has proven to be beneficial for Tate, who said that her ability to observe from a different perspective has changed the way she approaches her fights now. For this reason Tate believes a potential third fight with Rousey would look unlike the first two.

“There’s not a doubt in my mind it would be different, for sure,” said Tate. “I’m just so different myself. Like I don’t know how to explain, I just want you guys to see it on July 17. Just things that I didn’t realize and I didn’t compute before as a fighter that I feel like I’m finally picking up at this stage of my life. I don’t know, call it maturity, call it maybe sitting back and observing this sport and watching and not being under the pressure to compete all the time has allowed me to kind of look at this in a more cerebral way.

“I used to be very much a brawler and tough. I still have the mental toughness, I still have the fight but I feel like for the first time I’m tapping into my fight IQ and really going to go about things in just a different way than I did before. At least to start fights. Fights are fights, right? I mean it’s liable to get crazy at any point, but I’m different. I’m much different than I was before.”

Tate may not be able to fight Rousey and Zingano again as one of them is now a professional wrestler in WWE and the other is a Bellator competitor, but her overall plan remains the same. She still wants to be champion again, so she welcomes fights with current contenders and the champion Amanda Nunes, who she lost to at UFC 200.

“I will be the second-most hunted woman in the division, I feel like that for sure. The champion will be number one, but it seems like women are always interested in fighting me.”