ONE Championship has been quite busy making moves recently, particularly adding former #1 P4P king Demetrious Johnson and former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. Another move was the addition of Miesha Tate to an executive position, which, not unlike the other announcements, took the MMA world by surprise. In an appearance on “The MMA Hour,” on Monday, Miesha Tate explained what drove her to join ONE Championship (transcript via MMAFighting):
“I think (the UFC) has gone so far one way, that I don’t really identify with it anymore,” Tate explained Monday on The MMA Hour. “I love martial arts and I always will, but I prefer it to be promoted in a more true fashion, that it’s more about the fighting than it is about the trash talking that you do outside of the cage, the ring, the Octagon. I really think it’s important to hold those values, and I feel like in the western promotion of it all, it’s become much more of a circus. It’s really become watered down in a sense, and I feel like the core fan base that used to be there — more early on in my career or even midway through my career — was more about the fights, and I feel like that’s gotten pushed away.
“We’ve gotten to a fan base that’s a lot more about what people can do and say outside of the Octagon, people flying outside of the cage and attacking people, or the trash talk from Conor McGregor or even Ronda (Rousey). I feel like it’s different than the way that I would choose to approach or be a part of the sport.
“I think that people are losing the value of the sport, so they don’t care so much about fighting,” Tate added. They want to see the entertainment aspect, but for the worse. And if it’s not there, then I feel like the sport itself is not drawing anymore. You see these free FOX cards that are incredible fights and nobody’s watching them. The numbers are down because they want to see more than just fighting, and I feel like the value is just being lost.”
“I think that as a fighter, as an athlete, as a role model, that we have not only a duty, but an opportunity to influence a younger generation and potentially change people’s lives,” Tate said. “And I think with that, that we should do good. I think that we should the best role models that we can be, and I think that we should teach humility and I think that we should teach integrity, and that’s important to being a martial artist.
Miesha Tate would then contrast the Western trends of MMA with her new home and its fanbase:
“I believe in their sustainability more than I’ve ever believed in any MMA organization,” Tate said. “I think the difference over here when I come here and I visit, culturally, I’ve realized that the Asian culture is about longevity. It’s not about the here and the now. It’s about the long-term future, and I think Chatri has a great vision for that, and I think it’s also very sustainable because it’s about the martial artist and about the martial artist’s story, and [also] about sharing the story about struggle that people can identify. And I think over the long-term, it will pay of dividends.”
Do you agree with these comments from Miesha Tate?