It is unusual for an MMA fighter to have a long and successful career without changing as they go. One fighter who knows this first hand is former champion, Miesha Tate.
Back in her first run with the UFC, she found success, failure, and fame. Her rivalry with Ronda Rousey put her on the map, and her dominant victory over Holly Holm put a belt around her waist. Now, Tate is returning to the Octagon for the first time in five years. Her old self is gone, and a new and improved Tate will be looking to find that success again. Tate spoke to MMA Junkie about what has changed over her absence from the sport.
“Sometimes people look and then say, ‘Oh, you know, I want to go back to where I was.’ I’ve never thought that…I am no longer that person. I’m no longer that Miesha Tate,” Tate explained. “I’ve taken my lessons, and I’ve rolled them into my experiences, but I’m a new woman. I’m a new person. I’m a mother of two. I’m a fiancé. I am an evolved version of myself, mentally, emotionally, and it’s translated into physical because I believe the body follows the mind.”
Tate will take on Marion Reneau in the co-main event of this Saturday night UFC Vegas 31. A lot has changed since her last fight week, but once the cage door closes it is familiar ground. Reneau is coming into her last fight while Tate is returning from retirement. Ironic in a way, but Tate is not looking past her opponent.
“I think Marion is great,” Tate said. “I just really admire her. I think she’s very solid. I don’t think she has a lot of holes in her game.”
This return for Tate is not just a one-off. She is looking to continue her career and make it back to the top. In the UFC, a name can hold weight, and Tate is still a popular presence in the sport. Her returning to a co-main slot is a great sign; and with a win, she could find herself at the top of the division, nearing a title shot in no time.
Are you excited to see this “new” Miesha Tate back in the Octagon?