Miesha Tate knows a thing or two about big fights on the big stage.
The former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion has twice battled surging superstar Ronda Rousey with those meetings being deemed two of the most high-profile fights in the current era of women's MMA. While Tate came out on the business end of both affairs, those unique experiences certainly gave her a feel of what can move the proverbial needle with MMA fans.
While "Cupcake" is preparing to return to action next month against Liz Carmouche at UFC on Fox 11 in Orlando, the Washington state native hasn't been oblivious to the hovering rumors of a "huge fight" set to be announced by the UFC in coming weeks. Joe Rogan kicked off the speculation by hinting at a big announcement during an interview on KROQ radio and the the rumor mill has swirled with talk of everything from a potential showdown between the UFC champion and Cristiane Justino to a battle with the original face of WMMA Gina Carano.
Where either matchup would have their own unique sense of appeal, Tate would rather see her rival step into the Octagon with the Brazilian wrecking machine known as "Cyborg." During her appearance on Monday's installment of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the recent title challenger explained her reasons for wanting to see the former Olympic judoka tangle with the woman highly regarded as the most feared striker in WMMA.
"Everyone wants to see that fight. I think that Cyborg has proven time and time again that she is one of the baddest women on the planet. If she can be the Invicta FC champion at 135, I think she’s done enough. I think that it’s definitely a fair match-up, and I think everybody, including myself, would absolutely love to see it."
During the interview with Helwani, The Ultimate Fighter 18 coach also broke down her reasons for not wanting to see a fight between Rousey and Carano. While "Conviction" was once the most dominant force on the scene, those days have long since passed. Carano hasn't fought since being dismantled by "Cyborg" under the Strikeforce banner back in 2009 and has spent the time since honing her acting chops on the movie circuit.
Tate also pointed out that, in addition to her lengthy layoff, Carano would most likely have a rough time making the 135-pound weight limit. During her career, Carano competed at 145-pounds and often struggled to make weight for her fights. With the UFC only having a women's bantamweight division, Carano would have to hit that mark, and Tate believes it would be a tall order for the former star.
"I think that would be a lot for Gina to take on, having a five-year layoff. I don’t know, I think the fans would really get a kick out of it, so I understand the entertainment value. The fan in me would be a little curious to see it, but I don’t know if it would be a fair match-up, just because she’s been out of the loop for so long.
"And to even make 135 again, we’re talking about questionable. She struggled to make 145, who’s going to say five years later she’s going to want to fight Ronda Rousey at 135. It’s a little far-fetched."
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.
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