Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is contemplating a move down a weight class to the flyweight division.
Tate came out of retirement in July defeating Marion Reneau by TKO in her return after being away from the sport November 2016. She was defeated by Ketlen Vieira in November and is giving serious consideration to changing divisions. In a video, Tate explained her reasons but ultimately didn’t fully commit to the change.
“I am currently stuck in a very heavy debate with myself on whether to stay at 135 pounds, or move down to 125,” Tate said in a video she title ‘Should I or should I go.’
“The things that factor into that for me, Julianna (Peña) just became the champion at 135 pounds. I’m very excited for her, but we’ve been friends for a long time. We grew up in the sport together, and preferably I don’t want to have to fight her if I can be completely honest. I would prefer that we both could be champions,” Tate said.
Tate has fought nearly all of her career as a bantamweight, but there wasn’t any opportunities to fight at 125-pounds because the division didn’t exist in the UFC until 2017.
“Height and reach have never been an advantage for me at 135 pounds. So when I look at moving down to 125, maybe the first time in my career when I’d actually have those physical advantages. And I also thing the 125-pound division could use some spicing up,” Tate said.
“I look at the top four women, and they have all already fought for a title,” Tate said. “There’s Julianna as the champion at bantamweight and Valentina Shevchenko at flyweight, who I am a big fan of. She’s damn-near perfect, but I love the idea of fighting her as well because I know I have the ability to make things chaotic.
“When I fought Holly Holm, I made it a little bit more of a mess, a little bit more chaos in there than maybe those clean strikers would like to deal with,” she said.
Tate listed a litany of reason to make the move down to the flyweight division, but she also knows that it won’t be an easy thing to do.
“I look at that (125) with a lot of intrigue, and I look at 135 and say, I still feel like there’s unfinished business there. I’d like to work my way up. We don’t know how this division will continue to work itself out. It’s a dilemma,” Tate said.
“Obviously there’s going to be a lot more work if I was truly going to consider going down to flyweight. But here I am contemplating that. I’m no stranger to hard work. So I don’t know. I’m at a bit of a crossroad.”
The biggest reason Tate is hesitant about leaving the bantamweight division may come down to ego and pride.
“The reason that I don’t really like the idea of leaving the bantamweight division is because I’m coming off a loss. A fight that I feel like I could have won. I should have won, but I failed to execute a better game plan,” Tate said. “It really bothers me leaving on a loss.”
(Video Courtesy of Miesha Tate)