Strikeforce bantamweight Miesha Tate said the UFC never offered her a fight with champion Ronda Rousey, and believes she could still be the one to dethrone Rousey despite the fact that Rousey submitted her earlier this year.
Appearing Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with journalist Ariel Helwani, Tate responded to recent comments from Rousey and UFC President Dana White implying Tate had turned down a fight in the UFC with Rousey.
"I was never presented with [the fight]," Tate said.
I had made it clear that I wanted to take some time off. But that doesn't mean you can't make an exception to the rule. When I made that statement about taking time off, it was before I had the opportunity to fight in the UFC.
Rousey called the comments "a little bit of a slap in the face," not because she wasn't offered the fight, but because of the implication that she had turned down an offer.
To be honest, I'm OK with everything because the big picture is that [a rematch] is worth building. But then they kind of called me out and made it sound like it wasn't something I was interested in doing...I'm not OK with Ronda saying that I'm basically afraid to fight her.
Tate, who said she would have accepted the fight if offered, declined to say whether she had officially signed with the UFC. She did say she texted with White and others in the UFC to clear the air.
"[White] said it wasn't exactly what was said and sometimes he has a poor choice of words," Tate said. "I think he realized he pissed me off a little bit. You don't want a scorned woman running around."
Tate added that she believed the UFC might be putting "too many eggs in one basket" by backing and hyping Rousey so much more vigorously than any other female fighter, and said she "helped make [Rousey] more of a legend" by refusing to tap to what was ultimately a gruesome armbar submission in their fight in March.
"I think she's beatable," Tate said. "And if I get my rematch, I think I could be the first person to do so."
Tate said she was hoping to return to action some time in the spring.