Newly-crowned UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is set to make her first career title defense, against the No. 4-ranked Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 next Saturday (July 9, 2016).
Ahead of her upcoming clash with Nunes, Tate took the time to speak with FOX Sports and discuss her long journey to the top of women’s MMA:
“Everything that I have gotten has come through fighting,” Tate told FOX Sports. “From how I make a living to modeling, acting, FOX, whatever you want to name, I’ve gotten that through fighting for it. Literally.”
While Nunes has a history of gassing out in the later parts of her fights, Tate believes it isn’t a matter of cardio that Nunes lacks, but mental toughness:
“I think it might not even be a question of cardio because I’m sure she trains really, really hard. I think she breaks mentally in fights,” Tate said. “I think it affects her will to push her body to the limit and I know that’s not a problem I have.
I know that when push comes to shove, at any point in that fight, I’m going to be pushing that pace, I’m going to be going forward and I’m going to put it on her and I think that she’s going to break mentally.
She knows she breaks mentally. She knows she gets tired and I know that. And that’s a huge thing in this sport. They say the mental aspect is 90 percent of it. Well, I think that’s her biggest weakness.
I don’t think she has what it takes to be a champion and still be willing to dig deep in those championship rounds. I do and that’s really what separates us is the mental toughness,” Tate said.
While the championship rounds of a fight tend to be the most draining and grueling, Tate feels she thrives in those type of situations as the fight rolls on, something she can’t say about her adversary come UFC 200:
“It’s the fight-or-flight instinct they talk about. I definitely have the fight instinct. When I get hurt, I go harder. I don’t shy away from adversity. I feel like I thrive in it.
The fact that I was able to come back stronger from those devastating losses I’ve experienced in my career, is just a testament why I’m standing stronger than ever now. Why I’m the champion now.
Going through those learning experiences brought me here now. It’s like when you break a bone and they say it comes back stronger. It’s that thought, that’s how I feel. I really believe if it wasn’t for those losses, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
I know she has the things that she’s really good at, but I don’t think it’s anything I haven’t seen before.
I’ve fought all the best fighters in the world and I’ve been very successful for the most part and I don’t think Amanda brings anything to the table I haven’t seen before,” Tate said.
“As long as I don’t make a mistake and let my guard down, I don’t know where Amanda can beat me. As long as I don’t get over zealous or make a mistake to just leave something out there, I think I beat her in every area.”
Tate and Nunes will clash for the bantamweight title at UFC 200 live on pay-per-view (PPV), from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 9, 2016.