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Miesha Tate ‘already looking’ at Valentina Shevchenko title fight ahead of flyweight debut

Former champion Miesha Tate is already looking forward to a possible title fight with Valentina Shevchenko.

In mid-January, former UFC champion Miesha Tate announced her move down to flyweight. The 35-year-old is set to make her 125-pound debut against former title challenger Lauren Murphy on May 14.

Tate, who only fought at 135 pounds throughout her 14-year professional career, is already expecting some advantages for herself in her new weight class.

“I think that I can actually have some physical advantages in that weight class that I rarely have at 135,” Tate said in her recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “I don’t feel there’s a strength discrepancy at 135, but I could only imagine fighting women that are built to be 10 pounds smaller, could lend itself to showing my greatness as opposed to fighting these goliaths.”

“Cupcake” is still months away from her flyweight debut against a solid opponent. But as early as now, she’s already looking forward to a potential fight against the current champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

“I’m already looking at Valentina,” Tate said. “Whoever I end up fighting at 125, the long-term goal is that. I’m always going to have that long-term goal and I don’t think anyone should be faulted for that. I don’t think that I looked past [Ketlen Vieira] at all. I know I was focused on that fight at that time.

“I can absolutely always go back up to 135, so I feel like this is a no harm, no foul,” Tate said. “It’s something that would bother me if I didn’t pursue it, because it’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve really been weighing all of the options and seeing some of the women who were meant to be at 125, once they went down and were really shining,

“I think Valentina would be the best case to draw that scenario — maybe 125 was always where I was meant to be.”

After nearly five years in retirement, Tate (19-8) made a comeback in July 2021 against Marion Reneau, whom she defeated via decision and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus. She fought Brazil’s Ketlen Vieira four months later and lost on the scorecards.