UFC bantamweight Miesha Tate has been in some big bouts before as a former Strikeforce champion who played a significant role in women’s MMA getting the rub it is currently experiencing. However, none have carried the weight of her April 13 effort against Cat Zingano at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. Not only will the winner of the match-up receive a title-shot, but a spot coaching on TUF 18 is also up for grabs with champion Ronda Rousey in place in the opposing slot.
However, Tate isn’t looking that far down the road.
“I don’t really consider myself in the UFC until I get that first UFC victory. I don’t even think about coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter because I have to get past Point A to get to Point B,” said Tate in an interview with Bloody Elbow. “I’m just trying to stay focused on Cat, and I think I’m doing a good job with that.”
Beating Zingano will be no easy feat despite Tate’s past success. The unbeaten grappler has racked up seven wins thus far in her career including three TKOs and three submissions. It’s a resume Tate is definitely familiar with, though one “Cupcake” feels certain she can handle regarding the raw skill Zingano offers.
“She’s got a wrestling base and seems to like the clinch. She uses her striking to get into the clinch. She seems like she’s got a pretty powerful upper body, and is very athletic. She’s a strong girl. Sometimes, when you have very strong, explosive athletes, that can backfire, because they tend to put themselves in bad situations, thinking their explosiveness will get them out of it,” Tate explained. “I’ve noticed from watching tape on her, that her tendencies aren’t the best ones. I feel that I’m more seasoned. I have a lot more fights than she does, and I’ve already fought on the big stage. I plan on being the more experienced, smarter fighter. I plan on fighting a smart fight by letting her strength work against her and her weaknesses work for me.”
Tate has only fought a single time since falling to Rousey under the Strikeforce banner, submitting Julie Kedzie last August. The win improved her overall record to13-3 and added to other past victories over the likes of Zoila Gurgel, Hitomi Akano, and Marloes Coenen.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE