Tate returned to the UFC earlier this year after nearly five years in retirement. She originally stepped away from the sport following back-to-back losses to Amanda Nunes, which saw the 135-pound title leave her possession, and Raquel Pennington.
In the UFC Vegas 31 co-main event, Tate stepped out of retirement by sending veteran Marion Reneau into it. With a third-round TKO, the former champ announced her arrival back onto the bantamweight ladder. But her charge to the belt stalled at the hands of Ketlen Vieira last month. In the UFC Vegas 43 main event, Tate was comfortably beaten on the scorecards.
While her next opponent is far from decided, Tate has revealed it certainly won’t be one contender.
Tate Calls On Ladd To “Show Some Kind Of Progression”
Tate has been developing a rivalry with Aspen Ladd, a feud which has fostered into a bitter back-and-forth in recent months. Tate initially revealed interest in a clash with Ladd, a sentiment shared by the Californian in an interview with MMA News. However, relations soured after Ladd’s weight miss ahead of UFC Vegas 38 in October.
After Ladd weighed in over the limit and appeared visibly unwell on the scales, Tate showed no sympathy, accusing her of attempting to “cheat.” The veteran was slammed by both Ladd and her coach for trying to kick her while she was down.
Despite Ladd, who went up to featherweight in her last outing, suggesting she intends on returning to 135 pounds to face Tate, “Cupcake” doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for the grudge match. In a video uploaded to her YouTube channel, the former 135-pound UFC titleholder responded to Ladd’s callout, stating she wouldn’t consider facing the #4-ranked bantamweight until she’s proven she can make the weight.
“Aspen Ladd has called me out to a fight at 135 pounds. I’m afraid that I’m going to waste an entire camp training for a fight that may very well end at the scale,” Tate explained. “Aspen Ladd has missed weight three times in her MMA career and one time she failed to make it to the fight due to weight cutting issues.
“So all in all four times. Go to PI (performance institute) show some kind of progression. If one of these other bantamweights wants to take that risk, then hats off to them. If Aspen Ladd can show up, make 135 pounds and have a good performance then we might be talking.” (h/t BJPenn.com)
Despite her setback against Vieira, Tate remains motivated to make her way back to the top of the mountain. However, with her friend and occasional teammate Julianna Peña now sitting on the throne, the 35-year-old suggested she could be forced to pursue the flyweight belt instead. If that happens, a clash between Tate and Ladd will become even more distant.
How do you think a fight between Miesha Tate and Aspen Ladd would play out?