Strikeforce bantamweight champ Miesha Tate (Zuffa)Cagewriter spoke with two of women's MMA's biggest names: Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Rousey will try to take the Strikeforce bantamweight belt from Tate on Mar. 3 in the main event in Columbus, Ohio. The two addressed the tension that led to their fight and women's role in MMA.
Cagewriter: There has been heat between you two, in tweets and articles. Did that make it an easy decision to take the fight?
Rousey: It was a no-brainer for me. She never wanted this fight. Originally she said she'd be down to fight me, but as soon as I called her out, she changed her tune real quick.
Tate: No. Someone asked me on Twitter, "Would you ever fight Ronda?" And I said, sure, if she ever makes the drop to 135 and works her way up, then of course.
Rousey: No, you did not say it like that. You said, "Sure! Why not?" and then you sent me a direct tweet saying, "Do you think you could make 135?" I took that as directly, "Do you want to come fight me at 135?" Not saying abstractly that at some time in the future that you might want to fight me under certain circumstances that you deem reasonable.
Tate: That's how I remember saying it. Basically, yeah. If she makes 135 then I'm not afraid to fight anyone. At that time, you were in my division and I was in mine. Like, if anyone asks if I'm going to fight Cyborg, if she makes 135. If you're in my division, then yes. I'll fight you. I'm not going to go to 145, but if you come down to 135, and the opportunity presents itself, then yeah. I'll fight you.
Rousey: I presented with my own opportunity to fight you. Sorry it wasn't on your time.
Tate: That's fine. I don't have any problems with that, and I don't have any problems fighting you.
Rousey: Really? Because I see a lot of articles that say the contrary.
Tate: Let me finish. Do I feel you're the No. 1 contender in our division? No. I feel that Sarah Kaufman had the rug pulled right out from under her feet. Not necessarily your fault, but she was promised the spot that you have right now. It was on national television, I had beat Marloes and they brought her in and said, "Hey you're the No. 1 contender. You're coming off two solid wins." And then you come in, 4-0 and never having fought in our division, and you run your mouth, you say, "I'm marketable," and this fight makes sense because I'm marketable, and you get it. That's fine. I'm going to fight you because that's my job. If they tell me to fight you, I'm going to shut up and do that. I don't care who I fight. But morally? Who do I think deserved it? Sarah Kaufman. We're going to fight.
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