Miesha Tate is on target for her debut in a new weight class.
Tate has decided to move from bantamweight to flyweight, and the former UFC champion shared her progress ahead of her upcoming fight against Lauren Murphy at UFC 276 in July.
“I’m shrinking…oddly enough I knew making flyweight (125 lbs) was going to require my body to change, but yet going through the process has still be [sic] surprising at every turn,” wrote Tate on her official Facebook page.
Tate returned to competition after retiring over five years ago and defeated Marion Reneau via third-round technical knockout at UFC Vegas 31 this past July. Hoping to earn another championship opportunity, ‘Cupcake’ wanted to stay busy and was scheduled to fight Ketlen Vieira in her next appearance. Unfortunately, she suffered a unanimous decision loss at UFC Vegas 43 in November.
Nearly a month after her loss to Vieira, longtime friend and training partner of Tate — Julianna Peña — defeated Amanda Nunes via second-round rear-naked choke for the bantamweight championship. Because of that win, the shift in the division led to Tate considering a change in weight class.
“It’s something I’ve definitely thought about, but I definitely don’t want people to think that I’m running at 135,” Tate said in an interview with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie. “I hate the idea of leaving a division on a loss, it really bugs me. Something really bothers me about that, about leaving the division on a loss. It’s something I’ve thought about, but at the same time, I feel like I need more time to digest all of that. It’s not out of the question by any means, but it would be a long process if I’m gonna get down to 125. You probably know I’ve been pretty vocal that I’m not a fan of big weight cuts, so I would definitely have to do some things to change my body to get down at that weight, but it’s not something that’s way out in left field.
“It’s definitely something that I feel like could be an option,” continued Tate. “I just have to decide to. I’m definitely leaning towards staying at 135, especially with the change-ups and everything like that and seeing what’s happening there, but 125 is definitely not out of the question.”
Now that she has committed to flyweight, Tate will get her first test in the division opposite of a one-time title challenger and No. 2 ranked contender. The aforementioned Murphy was previously on a five-fight win streak before losing to reigning flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko via fourth-round technical knockout at UFC 266.