According to a Dec. 26 report from UFC.com, UFC bantamweight contender Miesha Tate (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is ready to shock the world by defeating 135-pound champ "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the co-main of UFC 168.
Tate, 27, has studied film on Rousey since losing to her last year under the Strikeforce banner, and she doesn't plan to make the same mistakes again.
“This is something I didn’t even think would be a possibility for years,” Tate said of receiving a UFC title shot. “The fact that it’s made its way around to me so quickly in a sense, I’m so thrilled and excited to have an opportunity like this. It’s amazing to be fighting in the UFC, but more than that, to be fighting for the world title on Pay-Per-View is such an amazing opportunity. It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this. I cannot wait to show the world the new and improved Miesha Tate.
“I feel like I’ve grown tremendously and I’m excited to go out there and have a shot at the title. I’m excited to have another shot at Ronda Rousey and I’m excited to be the first person to beat her. I’m excited to shock the world because I think people think she’s invincible. But I’m not buying it. I see the holes in her game and I think people are going to be shocked when I’m able to go out there and do what I plan to do. It’s going to be very rewarding and I’m looking forward to it.”
Tate is pleased that fight fans now see Rousey for who she really is. The star judoka is brash, outspoken and outrageous, but that's just the person she has always been.
Some fight fans love the way Rousey acts, while others hate it. Either way, they'll still tune in to watch her and that's all that really matters at the end of the day.
“I think people have finally gotten to see both sides of the story now, and have been able to see both of our personalities,” Tate said of Rousey. “I think people have had kind of a rude awakening as far as she goes. For the longest time I thought people didn’t understand the reason it was damn near impossible for me to get along with Ronda. She has even admitted it herself that she is the one who started it. I didn’t have a problem with her. When I first saw her fight I thought this chick looks pretty legit. But it was the way she called me out and the way she was so disrespectful before I had even met her that really turned me off to her.”
Tate has been trying to keep her cool in the lead-up to UFC 168, because she let Rousey get into her head when they fought the first time.
Tate does not want emotions to play a part in their historic UFC 168 co-main tilt.
“My career is not going to be determined off this one fight or this rivalry,” Tate said. “I’m not trying to put the weight of the world on my shoulders. I believe I’ve done enough thus far in my career to solidify a spot in the UFC, where my value as a competitor isn’t determined by this rivalry. I fully intend to go in there and take that belt on December 28 and go into 2014 as the champion. But, at the same time, I love this sport no matter what.
“My goal going into this season of The Ultimate Fighter and this fight was to realize the truth that Ronda Rousey does not dictate Miesha Tate. Yes, I lost a fight to her once, but I think I grew a lot as both a fighter and a person. I just decided I was going to have fun with it and let go of the feelings of bitterness and anger I had towards her. I was going to be me no matter what. I learned a hard lesson that when emotions get involved and there is so much negativity, it just wasn’t helpful for me. It’s not the way I compete at my best so I had to learn to put those emotions aside. That’s why I attempted to shake her hand after each fight. That’s why I kept my cool.”
Rousey will undoubtedly try to catch Tate in an armbar just as she did when they first fought. However, Tate knows Rousey has a tendency to give up her back when she goes for judo throws to get her opponents to the mat.
Taking advantage of that could be a key in the UFC 168 co-main.