Miesha Tate has had a lot to say about Ronda Rousey since becoming the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, but she is now solely focused on her upcoming title defence against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9.
Tate became champion when she made Holly Holm submit in the fifth round of their intense battle at UFC 196 in March.
While most people expected Holm to get an immediate rematch, the UFC threw a curve ball and decided to make Tate’s first fight as champion against Nunes.
There was also initially talk of Tate facing Rousey at UFC 200, but those rumours were squashed when it was revealed that the 29-year-old was busy with other commitments. She also recently underwent knee surgery, which is likely to keep her out of action until early next year.
“[Rousey’s] not ready now, so she’s not really a focal point for me,” Tate said. “I’m not even focusing on her at the moment. Amanda Nunes is going to be a great challenge for me. … You get a fiery Brazilian woman in there who really wants to take that belt.”
While her mind is occupied with UFC 200 fast approaching, Tate is willing to face Rousey again even though the former champion has beaten her in their last two meetings.
“I would be disappointed if she doesn’t come back, if I don’t get that opportunity, you know?” Tate said. “I definitely would be. It would be a void that would feel like it didn’t get to get filled. So I hope that that is not the case.”
In regards to her fight against Nunes, Tate revealed that she will be unleashing a more aggressive side when she steps into the Octagon on July 9 as she is determined to keep hold of her title and let her reign as champion continue.
“There’s just something different about me … there’s just a sense of primal possession over that belt,” Tate said. “I feel so much more fierce about it because I really have something to protect now. I think that’s going to add a sense of ferocity in my fights that we’ve never seen before.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of UFC belts changing hands recently. And I don’t want that to happen to me.”