The MMA world was thrown for a loop last night when news surfaced stating UFC bantamweight Cat Zingano had suffered an injury and been forced out of a fight with champion Ronda Rousey, as well as a chance to make history as a coach on TUF 18, based on the severity of the damage. Former Strikeforce title-holder Miesha Tate was quickly slotted in against Rousey on both fronts and, as a result, the world will once again have a chance to see their heated rivalry play out in public.
FOX Sports has since had a chance to sit down with both fighters, as well as UFC President Dana White, to talk about the situation. Though the admiration for each other’s athleticism was evident in a subsequent video of the conversations, it’s still clear Tate and Rousey still don’t like one another on a personal level.
“Ronda, obviously, is a phenomenal fighter. She’s undefeated. As a person, I don’t think she’s quite as stellar,” said Tate after expressing appreciation for the opportunity she’d been handed.
The feeling was mutual from Rousey, explaining that she felt blessed to have a rival like Tate in terms of what it might mean for women’s MMA but wasn’t a huge fan of her’s outside of the Octagon.
“I’ve always respected Miesha as a fighter and I’ve always respected her as an athlete. How I feel personally really has nothing to do with that,” explained Rousey. “In fact, I said it in the same sentence – ‘I think she’s entirely legit but I don’t feel bad about hitting her.’”
TUF 18 is scheduled for a September 4 debut on FOX Sports 1 and air on Wednesdays. In addition to featuring male bantamweights on the cast, this season will also see the first female Ultimate Fighter crowned since the show’s inception.
The full video with Tate, Rousey, and White can be seen below: