Miesha Tate is the former bantamweight champion. She is now looking to add another championship to her résumé but this time at flyweight. She recently decided to make the move down to 125 pounds mainly so she would not have to face her friend, newly crowned bantamweight champion Julianna Peña.
Tate and Peña go way back to before Peña was in the UFC. They trained together and then Tate had the chance to coach Peña on The Ultimate Fighter. Now that Peña is holding the strap at 135 pounds, Tate doesn’t want to be the one to take it away.
“Another reason, although I know I’m a little bit away from getting a potential title shot, but with Julie being crowned the champion at 135 also, I would just prefer if we could be champions at the same time together and Pacific Northwest Takeover,” she said on The MMA Hour.
Not wanting to dethrone her friend was not the only reason Tate gave for this move. After suffering her first loss since returning from retirement, Tate feels she will be able to perform better at flyweight. After five years away from the UFC, Tate made her comeback last year. Physically, she seemed to be in better shape than ever. She appeared leaner and perhaps this led to the decision to drop down the additional ten pounds.
Tate already has her flyweight debut all set. She will be taking on Lauren Murphy at the UFC Fight Night event on May 14. Murphy is a longtime contender at 125 pounds. She is coming off a title shot loss to champion Valentina Shevchenko, which was her first loss in three years. Murphy is currently ranked third in the division. If Tate can get past her, she might find herself pretty close to a title shot.
Do you think Miesha Tate and Julianna Peña will reign as UFC champions simultaneously?