Miesha Tate’s upcoming fight on Saturday against Holly Holm at UFC 196 almost never happened. Tate explained in a recent interview that she almost retired after being denied Women’s Bantamweight title shots against Ronda Rousey on multiple occasions.
“I felt like I was at the top of the top after winning four straight fights in a row and getting another title shot and really feeling like I was ready for that,” Tate told FOX Sports. “I was excited for that opportunity. Right away, I was back in the gym and I was unscathed in the fight with Jessica (Eye). Then I found out I wasn’t getting the title shot and I was a little upset about that and the way that it was announced. I was super upset. I just felt like I was never going to get another title shot so long as Ronda was the champion.”
Tate says her difficulties securing a title shot almost lead her to putting an end to her career.
“That was really hard for me to swallow,” Tate said. “That had me contemplating retirement even at one point, but not because I wasn’t able to compete at that high of a level but because I felt that maybe that door had shut for me in the eyes of the UFC.”
“I didn’t know where I stood with that and how I could process those emotions and what my motivation would be if it’s not to become the best in the world. My motivation is to fight for what? I’m not fighting for a participation ribbon. I’m fighting to be the champion.”
Tate is on a four-fight winning streak, and has an overall record of 17-5. She will be facing UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm (10-0) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on March 5th.