Miesha Tate is grateful that women have finally been accepted into the UFC, but she doesn't think that Ronda Rousey deserves all the credit she's getting.
Although Rousey is definitely the catalyst, Tate wants people to remember the early pioneers of women's mixed martial arts, and not just its current most popular star. As far as Tate's concerned, people are forgetting that Rousey didn't have much to do with the sport in its infancy.
Tate spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about her stance on Rousey's spotlight, while also highlighting some of the long-time female fighters who've been part of MMA for much longer than the current Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion:
"It's not just Ronda, it's not just myself, that's for sure. If Ronda's coming over to the UFC obviously there's going to be a division around that, it's not just Ronda. I know Ronda's getting a lot of the credit and what not, but she didn't have a lot to do with from the ground up."
"We're at the top of the mountain now. That's kind of how I feel, anyways. With this accomplishment coming into the UFC, we've kind of reached that final goal. But we had to start at the bottom and a lot of the pioneers Tara (LaRosa), Marloes (Coenen), Molly Helsel, the girls that were really fighting back in the day before we were making any kind of money, or there was any kind of publicity, or much acceptance of it."
Although Tate and many other female MMA fighters have long histories in the sport, Ronda Rousey has arguably accomplished more than her counterparts in just over two years. Since her first amateur bout in August 2010, Rousey has defeated nine women by submission in just one round each, all with her signature armbar.
Despite the fact that Tate eventually fell to Rousey's patented armbar, she insists that the Olympic bronze medalist is far from unbeatable:
"Our rivalry is very real. I know a lot of people don't believe that Ronda can't be beaten, that she's just untouchable, but I beg to differ...If I do get that rematch in the UFC, it's going to be one hell of a fight."
Along with winning the Strikeforce bantamweight title, Rousey has gone on to grace the cover of ESPN's 2012 Body Issue, UFC Magazine and various other publications—as well as guest-starring on The Ultimate Fighter. Tate considered a year-long break prior to the news that the UFC would be signing Rousey, along with the announcement of Strikeforce closing after their January fight card.