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‘I have big plans’ - Ex-UFC champ Miesha Tate wants Murphy bout to be ‘the statement of my career’

The former bantamweight champion hopes to send a message to Valentina Shevchenko with a win over Lauren Murphy at UFC Long Island. 

Miesha Tate before her fight with Ketlen Vieira.
Miesha Tate before her fight with Ketlen Vieira.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

There is no shortage of career-defining moments for Miesha Tate. From winning championships in several promotions to returning after a nearly five-year retirement and dominating a contender, ‘Cupcake’ accomplished a lot throughout her years of fighting.

But Tate believes the best is yet to come.

The former champion moves from bantamweight to flyweight for her next fight against Lauren Murphy at UFC Long Island on Saturday. Expectations are high for Tate, who wants to one-up herself with a performance that could rival her previous accomplishments.

“I really want to make this fight the statement of my career,” said Tate during media day (video provided by MMA Fighting). “So, I have big plans for this fight and I’m really excited for Saturday. The finish line is close.”

The goal for Tate is to get a championship opportunity against reigning UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. The ‘Bullet’ earned her seventh consecutive defense with a split decision over Taila Santos at UFC 275 this past June.

Shevchenko said her next defense could be against the winner of Tate vs. Murphy, which excited the Xtreme Couture product.

“I was very excited to hear her mention my name because if the champion is saying it, there’s going to have some value in it,” said Tate. “She definitely has some pull in whether she goes up to 135 and fights or stays right here at 125. So I want to make that statement and I want to say that she has work to be done here in this division.”

Tate also assessed the fight against Santos. The 35-year-old knew Shevchenko had an off night but still expects a tough challenge should they share the Octagon in the future.

“I don’t think it was her best one,” said Tate. “I know she had an injury, and everybody has those fights that aren’t their best ones, but I know what Valentina looks like at her best. She’s an animal. She’s an absolute beast.

“I got to get this fight done with Lauren Murphy,” continued Tate. “She’s ranked inside the top five, so for me this is a real treat — to enter the division, get a top-five ranked opponent and really be able to see in the near future that Valentina is on the horizon.”

UFC Long Island is scheduled for Sat., July 16 at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York.