It’s no secret that Miesha Tate is one of the most bad ass fighters in the women’s UFC bantam-weight division. Not many fighters would refuse to tap against the arm bar of a Judo Olympic Champion like Rhonda Rousey, then again, Miesha Tate isn’t just any ordinary MMA fighter. Tate admitted to Affliction that she had time to tap out, and chose not to- resulting in a hyper-extended arm, torn muscles and a chipped bone.
We caught up with Miesha while training to talk about her predictions for the fight, how she has prepared to defend against Rousey’s Judo and her emotional state going into UFC 168.
Is this going to be an emotional fight for you?
“No, I don’t think it will be. I’ve practiced being emotionally uninvested so much that I’ve been able to see through her mental warfare that she uses.”
What have you done differently to prepare for this fight?
“I’m just trying to understand the mental warfare and psyche that Rhonda has, and I feel like I am way more prepared for that in this fight. I think that I had the skills to beat Rhonda in the first fight- it was a really competitive match, I had some winning positions at times- I even had her back- so if you can get back control on someone, that’s the potentially finishing position. I definitely had the tools to beat her the first time, I just got over emotional, saw red and wanted to beat her up. I didn’t get into this sport so I could ‘beat bitches up’, I got into it because I love competing. Once I got back to that and grounded myself, I think that was the biggest thing I accomplished since the fight.”
What started the rivalry between you and Rousey?
“I think the first time she called me out she was very disrespectful. First she said that she couldn’t cut weight to be in my division, then when Cyborg became a question it seemed like she ran from her division and cut down to 135lbs and said that she was going to ‘slap the title out of my hand’. I could never in my wildest dreams imagine talking to one of my predaccessors like that because women in this sport have all worked very hard together, somewhat together, to become a part of the UFC. For her to come in not knowing much about the sport and then to start disrespecting me- I just couldn’t imagine doing that.”
In your last fight with Rousey, you refused to tap right up until the very end- was your arm dislocated? –Noticed you were standing there without a sling or anything- very bad ass- what was your recovery like from that injury?
“I had time to tap and chose not to, so it hyper-extended and popped out of joint. I ended up with tears in my bicep, tricep and forearm- my ligaments also tore away from the bone, taking a chunk of bone with it, and then it went back into place on its own.”
You wrestled in high school- did you ever make the boys cry?
“Yes. I was wrestling a guy in high school and beat him. He was tearing up as he left the mat and ended up never coming back to wrestling after our match.”
Favorite submission technique?
“I like triangle chokes, arm bars and rear naked chokes.”
Favorite UFC fight of all time?
“Well it wasn’t in UFC but my favorite fight was in WEC: Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis.”
What are your predictions for your upcoming fight with Rousey?
“I’m going to knock her out. I know that I have a huge lead with striking, but I encourage her to try and throw me. I know I hit her harder than anyone else, so I know she’s going to try and take it to the ground.”
Give us a brief run down of your daily schedule when training for a fight like this~
“It’s been an ‘anti-Judo’ camp. I’ve been changing my schedule slowly leading up to the fight- since I fight at night, I’ve been training later in the day and sparring at night. We do strength and conditioning in the morning and then we go live at night.”
Favorite training exercise? Least favorite?
“I hate doing box jumps- they get me so tired. I like doing any kind of grappling.”
Based on what we saw from Tate’s training, she is certainly more calm, cool and collected when compared to her last encounter with Rousey. Tate assured us that she is not going to fall prey to Rousey’s mental warfare that was so prevalent in their last fight.
Catch Tate vs. Rousey live in Las Vegas on December 28, 2013 for UFC 168 as Rousey defends her bantam-weight title. Get up close in personal with Miesha in her exclusive interview with Affliction All Access~ Don’t forget to pick up your Official Miesha Tate walk out tee before the fight!