Miesha Tate has been on the cusp of a UFC title for years now, but just couldn't seem to get past Ronda Rousey. The former bantamweight champ stifled Tate's title run twice, once in the first round, and again in the third, both via armbar submission.
With Rousey on an extended hiatus from the sport though, Tate is getting a third shot at the belt. She'll be facing current champ Holly Holm in March, and despite her issues facing Rousey in the past, she believes her next opponent is a far bigger challenge.
"I think that Holly's coaches are far better than Ronda's and I think that makes her a more dangerous opponent," Tate said at a UFC 197 press conference. "And she will rise to any occasion as we can see. She surprised me and she surprised the world. And I wouldn't put it past her to try to do it again at UFC 197. My job is to make sure that doesn't happen."
As a result, Tate says she's more nervous about her Holm fight than she would be with another Rousey rematch.
"If anything, I'm probably a little bit more anxious for this fight than I would be for another one with Ronda, because I feel like this is a whole new puzzle," Tate said. "I feel like maybe I was just starting to figure out that Ronda puzzle, but this is like an entirely new challenge with a great support system."
Tate also discussed her disappointment that Holly Holm got a title shot before her. While Tate did lose to Rousey twice, a four win streak put her solidly as the no.1 contender in the division.
Instead of a third fight with Rousey though, Holly Holm got to leapfrog the division after just two UFC fights, and ended up taking the bantamweight title.
"I didn't know where I was at with everything, honestly," Tate said. "It was kind of a whirlwind of emotions. I don't take a title opportunity lightly. I put my whole life into this sport right here. I put everything that I have to give and when I think that I'm gonna get a title shot, I'm like a hungry beast. And it's like you just took that steak away from me. I'm pretty pissed."
"Now here we are and everything worked out the way it was meant to work out," Tate clarified though. "Fate does have a way of finding itself. I think this is where I was supposed to be."