UFC women's bantamweight contender Miesha Tate bared it all in ESPN the Magazine's annual body issue. She said in an interview with the magazine that she wanted to show that fighters are feminine.
I want to show that you can be a cage fighter and still be feminine. I hate the stereotype that women who fight are "butch" or "wannabe men." It's nice to be able to embrace being a beautiful, strong woman.
Tate isn't the first UFC fighter to pose in ESPN's annual issue that celebrates an athlete's form. Ronda Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champ and Tate's opponent in December, was on the cover of last year's body issue. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was featured in it as well.
She told USA Today she doesn't have a problem embracing her beauty and sexuality.
"It's a fine line to walk, and I think that everyone has a different line to walk. My goal is to be respected first and foremost as an athlete. However, I don't see any problem with a woman embracing her beauty. Sexuality is fine. I'm proud of myself that I'm able to compete in a sport that's mainly driven by men and testosterone. It's not typically something you would picture a woman doing. So I think it's a really healthy balance to have, and it's something that I'm comfortable with and proud of."
In the UFC, there are 13 women in the bantamweight division. Sara McMann and Cat Zingano, who both already have wins, are mothers. Rosi Sexton is nicknamed "The Surgeon" because she has a Ph.D in theoretical computer science and is also an osteopath. This weekend at Invicta, an-female promotion, an even more diverse cast of women will fight. Along with Tate and before her, Rousey, they show the many ways to embrace femininity as a fighter.