Interview: MMA Fighter Miesha Tate Talks Hatred for Ronda Rousey, Her Lowest Career Point, and Needles

Interview: MMA Fighter Miesha Tate Talks Hatred for Ronda Rousey, Her Lowest Career Point, and Needles

What has been your lowest point throughout your fighting career?

There’s never been a  point where I was like, “I don’t think I’m going to do this anymore, I don’t think it’s for me,” but I have hit low points. One of my worst was when I fought a tournament for Bodog. It was my pro debut against Jan Finney. There was no sanctioning back in 2007, so it was in Evansville, Ind. and they just kind of made up the rules as they went. It was totally different back then. I cut too much weight for that fight. We went three rounds, and the judges were arguing about who they thought won. They couldn’t make a decision, so they just wanted us to go four rounds. We fought another, and they still couldn’t figure it out. We were looking at each other like they were crazy, because this was a tournament. We had to fight potentially two more times that night. The referee thought it was ridiculous too, so he didn’t want to make us go another round. He just decided that he had the best seat in the house and he felt that he knew who won, so the judges let him pick. He raised my hand, which was an awesome feeling, because it was a serious battle. She laced me with some hard leg kicks and at the time was known as the hardest hitting woman in MMA. So, for my pro debut, it was a pretty tough fight.

That's crazy they didn't have protocol for that yet. 

Then, I had about 20 minutes before I had to go out and fight again, and I was so tired, because when you cut that much weight, it can have terrible effects on you and your athletic performance. I was walking around at roughly 152 lbs and I cut down to 134 inside of two weeks. By the time I hit 147, I was thirsty, and from that point on, it was pure water weight. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t drinking, and I was just sweating. I don’t sweat very much, so for me, it was difficult to get all that water weight off. I was delirious. I literally thought I was going to die. [Miesha’s boyfriend and UFC fighter] Bryan [Caraway] locked me in the sauna and said that I couldn’t come out until I did 100 jumping jacks and 50 push ups. I waited, and after four rounds of war, I fought Kaitlin Young, who had a lucky first fight with Suzie Smith, who had never fought an MMA fight in her life before. Young was able to finish the fight in about 18 seconds. She just put some punches and knees in the girl’s face, and she was done.

So Kaitlin and I were in round two, and I tried to take her down, but she grabbed onto the rope. So, I set her back down, and my body just hit a wall. My leg was already swollen and turning black and blue from the kicks, and I’d lost any explosiveness that I had. I was gassed and when I went to stand back up, she kneed me in the head and knocked me over sideways. I tried to get back up, and she was loading this kick from hell. I could see it coming and knew it was a 10. So, I made a simple mistake and started to reach out instead of blocking by my head, but she caught me with a head kick and completely knocked me out.

I woke up with people in my face asking me where I was, and I knew where I was, but I couldn’t think of anything to say. I couldn’t come up with any words, and I got up dazed and was just thinking, “What the hell just happened?” I didn’t remember the fight with Jan Finney, and when I went back in the room, I was asking Bryan what happened. I had no idea. He was trying to tell me, but it was like a story that I’d never heard before. Once it hit me what had happened, I just started crying, because I’d really thought that Jan Finney was going to be my toughest competition. I thought that I could win the whole tournament, I was totally broken and disappointed in myself. It was a time to pick myself up and get back to training, so that’s what I did. I was determined to come back and win.

 

You know what, bitch? The most you can take credit for is 50 percent, because it takes two to tango, and if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be getting this opportunity either.

 

On to the #rouseystomp. Tell me about that.

This guy on Twitter actually came up with idea. He was like, “What’s Ronda know about the Rousey stomp? You’re going to stomp her” and so on. I thought it was really funny, so I just started saying it at the end of some of my tweets and comments, so people picked up on it. The guy, his handle is @JrNembhard, is the president of our club. So, that caught my attention and I’ve been promoting it ever since.

How does this fight compare to any other fight you’ve had in your career?

It’s bigger, it’s more important. There’s a lot more riding on it and it’s different because I really don’t like her. Don’t like is probably an underestimation of how I really feel. I can’t stand her. I think she’s self-centered, self-righteous, self-entitled, and I think she’s cocky and arrogant and those are all things that don’t constitute a good person. I have never felt this strongly about anybody that I’ve fought before, so I don’t know what to expect from myself. I have to be smart and not get overzealous, but I really want to hurt her.

I talked to her last week and she was explaining that that is just how she talks to everybody, even to her teammates in the gym, but people don’t realize that.

Yeah, and I just don’t like it. She’s so cocky, and people get tired of it. At first a lot of people thought it was funny, but then people started to get over it and thought she was running her mouth way too much. A lot of people on Twitter have been hitting me up saying that they used to be fans of hers, but now they want me to shut her up. That’s how I feel about it too, enough is enough.

What’s the most personal comment she’s made to you?

There are two. One was when she said she could beat me and my boyfriend in the same day. You can talk all the trash you want about me, but don’t call out my boyfriend or my loved ones. There is nothing that he can say that would make him look good or be able to defend himself. She’s just picking on him for no reason. He would throw her on her head and submit the shit out of her. So, she’s an absolute moron and complete idiot to even consider calling him out. That automatically discredits anything that she says from there on out. He competes in the UFC, he just got off of the Ultimate Fighter, he’s 1-0 in the UFC, and for her to call him out is so stupid.

The other thing was her saying it took her six months to achieve what I have done in six years. That pissed me off. Six years ago this sport of women’s MMA wasn’t anywhere where it is right now, because we had to work so hard, all of us, not just me. We’ve been knocking at the door for so long and have been begging for that opportunity, and we finally got it through determination and laying that ground work. Then, she just trots right up the road that we’ve been paving, gets to the top, and says, “All you girls should kiss my ass and be thankful, because if it weren’t for me, we wouldn’t be getting this main event and all this publicity.” I’m thinking, "You know what, bitch? The most you can take credit for is 50 percent, because it takes two to tango, and if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be getting this opportunity either."

Having that level of disrespect, I feel like she has no clue how it was that long ago. Six years ago things weren’t even the same for the men’s MMA. I have been busting my ass for so long to be able to get this the right way. I didn’t run my mouth and I didn’t make it because I’m pretty or marketable. I put my nose to the grindstone, I trained, and I beat the girls that were required to become a legitimate No. 1 contender. Then I won the title. Not only did I win it, but I submitted a girl who at 19-4 at the time had never been submitted and was known for her submission game. I’m not here by accident, and I didn’t talk my way into it. I have a big loss of respect for her after wanting to take the credit. Get over yourself.

Tags: miesha-tate, ronda-rousey, mma
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