UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has one thing in mind at UFC 200 and that is to beat Amanda Nunes to be able to lure Ronda Rousey and open the communication lines to their much-anticipated third fight.
Though media reports have been linking Tate to a supposed meeting Rousey in the not so distant future, the women’s champ wants also to give due respect to Nunes. Tate told Fox Sports that Nunes has been a contender in their weight class for years now. She wants people to realize that he is fighting Nunes and not Rousey as of the moment.
“I want to define my legacy by defending the belt multiple times. Amanda’s the first step in doing that and I want to keep my focus on her. To be honest, Ronda is just really irrelevant to me at this point in time,” Tate said.
Tate stated that Nunes has been a contender too long and has made her presence felt with impressive wins over former Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann and Muay Thai striker Valentino Shevchenko. She adds that before she worries about other opponents, she has remained focus on the task at hand and that is to beat Nunes on July 9.
“I just can’t afford to have my focus on the ‘what if?’ What about ‘the what is’. This is ‘what is’. We’ve seen titles shift hands a lot recently and I don’t want to make that mistake,” Tate explained.
She even told the Daily Mail that holding on to the title would like to be related to a lioness protecting her cub at all cost. Tate adds that wearing the belt brings a sense of pride to anyone who would wear it. She hopes to keep that pride once she steps inside the Octagon against Nunes.
“There’s just something more to it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s a sense of pride and success and also possessiveness. It kind of brings you back to your primal roots like a lioness or a mother bear with her cubs. That’s kind of how I feel about the belt. It’s mine and I’m not going to let anyone hurt it or take it,” Tate said.
Tate’s coach Bryan Caraway stated that “Cupcake” is difficult to beat since she brings in that confidence of a champion in her combined with her attitude towards her training. He adds that Tate is on another level of being a fighter, the one that does not overlook his or her opponents. Tate gives Nunes her utmost respect as she knows what it feels like climbing her way to the top of the ladder.
Tate relates that she has been climbing the ladder since 2013 and has reaped the rewards of her hard labor, commitment and perseverance. She knows she is fighting the next best fighter and when she beats Nunes, she knows her next assignment will be much harder but she is up for the challenge.
Photo Courtesy: UFC.com