Tate, who held the 135-pound belt in 2016 following a submission victory over Holly Holm, returned to action in the UFC Vegas 31 co-main event last month. Against the retiring Marion Reneau, “Cupcake” became the first woman to finish the 44-year-old veteran after securing a third-round TKO win.
The Performance of the Night-worthy performance marked a successful return to the Octagon after almost five years as a retired fighter. Tate is now on the search for her next opponent, and will hope to ascend back to the bantamweight mountaintop sooner rather than later.
One potential name for Tate to clash with in the future is Aspen Ladd. Following surgery on a torn ACL and MCL, the 26-year-old was set to make her return at UFC Vegas 32. After Macy Chiasson was forced out of the fight just days before the event, Tate was on the receiving end of a short-notice callout from Ladd.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, the former champion admitted that despite turning down the offer to face the promising prospect, she had seriously considered stepping in late to face the Californian.
“Of course I thought about it. I was like midway through a cinnamon roll, and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I kid you not. I was halfway through a cinnamon roll. I got the message and it was like Thursday, 6 p.m. The weigh-ins were Friday at 9 a.m. I went and stepped on the scale, and I was like, ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea’ – not so much the fight; the fight was a very intriguing – but just making sure I could be a true professional, show up, make weight. You’ve got to factor all that stuff in.”
Tate went on to reveal why she chose not to enter the Octagon for back-to-back events, adding that her team advised her to follow the smarter option.
“I had taken the whole week off. I was in the worst diet part. That one week, it’s like the one week you get to just eat all the food that you want and relax and whatever. So I called my coaches, and I said, ‘I’m thinking about doing this. Am I crazy?’ They’re like, ‘You’re crazy – just trying to make the weight by next morning,’ all these things. So they’re like, ‘Do it at a later date.’ It was one of those things that we thought as a collective team that it was probably smarter to wait.”
But despite opting against saving Ladd’s return last month, Tate praised the #3-ranked women’s bantamweight, and stated that she’s keen to meet her inside the cage later down the line.
“I really considered it because I like the matchup,” Tate said. “I have a lot of respect for Aspen Ladd. I think she’s a great opponent and very different. She likes to come forward, she’s aggressive, and I love that kind of fight because it always brings out the best in me – as opposed to Marion, who’s more technically sound and calculated and she likes to stay away until she can get what she wants done. Aspen Ladd is very different than that, and I hope that we can get that fight at some point. I would really like that.”
Having not fought since her stoppage victory over Yana Kunitskaya in December 2019, Ladd’s effort to save her UFC Vegas 32 co-main event was understandable.
After being unable to entice Miesha Tate back to the Octagon so soon, the 29-year-old will have to push a clash with the former champ to the back of her mind as she prepares for her delayed bout with Chiasson.
Ladd, who boasts a 9-1 record in the sport, is set for a second crack at reigniting her career at the UFC’s October 2 Fight Night. Should she be victorious over the #10-ranked Chiasson, Ladd could well be set for a showdown with “Cupcake.”
How do you think Aspen Ladd would fare against Miesha Tate?