Tate: Rousey won’t be the same when she returns

Miesha Tate believes that Ronda Rousey won’t have the same kind of impact when she eventually makes her long-awaited UFC comeback.

Rousey last fought at UFC 193 in November, where she lost her women’s bantamweight title to Holly Holm after being knocked out in the second round.

Following her first-ever UFC loss, Rousey was expected to return to the Octagon towards the end of this year, but that may not happen after she underwent minor knee surgery recently.

With Rousey only expected to make her return by early 2017, Tate feels that the 29-year-old is more focused on other obligations rather than her UFC career.

“Do I think she’ll come back the same?” Tate said on UFC Fight Pass. “Something tells me no. Something tells me that she won’t and I think it’s just my take on the interviews that I’ve seen her do. I feel like she’s somewhere else other than fighting. I don’t feel like this is her No. 1 drive or source anymore.

“Where is her heart really laying? I know when I’ve gone through the toughest of tough — I’ve been head kicked and knocked out before. I’ve lost to Ronda twice and that was the most devastating thing that could have ever happened to me inside my career. But here I am. I made myself better for it. I made myself stronger. And I don’t recognise that in Ronda.

“That’s all that I’m saying. I don’t recognise the same desire, the same drive, the same passion, the same willingness to overcome that kind of adversity. I don’t see that in her.”

Meanwhile, should Tate be given the opportunity to face Rousey once again, she feels that the outcome of the fight will be a lot different.

Before she thinks about a bout with Rousey though, Tate will have to shift her attention to her first title defence against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9. Tate was crowned women’s bantamweight champion when she defeated Holly Holm via submission in the fifth round of their fight at UFC 196 on March 5.

“It’s really simple,” she said. “I’ll win. That’s it. I don’t know how. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. But I know that I am the strongest that I’ve ever been. And here I stand at the best moment of my career, the most confident that I’ve ever been, the best version of Miesha Tate and she’s (Rousey) at the worst. She’s at the lowest point of her career. I think she’s second-guessing whether she even wants to be in it.”