UFC on Fox 11: Liz Carmouche Talks Secret Addiction, Miesha Tate Playing Possum

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterApril 17, 2014

Liz Carmouche
Liz CarmoucheUSA TODAY Sports

Sometimes a problem becomes serious enough that a person’s loved ones feel compelled to intervene. 

Liz Carmouche has been there.

“I would go in,” Carmouche said, “but they would force me not to do it. They’d stop me.”

That’s right. Liz Carmouche admits it. She was addicted to working out.

“They put a hit out on me at all the gyms around town,” she said. “They would check me to see if I had any other gym memberships.”

Surely that's an exaggeration. She can’t actually be serious.

“I’m serious,” Carmouche said.

All that matters, one supposes, is that she’s now on the mend. Quite literally, in fact. A tendency to overtrain in the past, she said, hurt her body and her fights, and it was one culprit behind what she calls a “lax” effort in her last engagement, a lopsided decision loss in November to Alexis Davis.

“I've learned a lot about taking my health into account,” Carmouche said in an interview with Bleacher Report. “I hate taking breaks in my training. But I’m having to change that, and let my body heal.”

Carmouche, known to mainstream fans for being the UFC’s first openly gay athlete and the first woman along with Ronda Rousey to fight in the UFC Octagon, is hoping a more moderated approach to training pays dividends in better health and stamina when the need is greatest. And her need will be substantial Saturday night, when she faces Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 11.

Both ladies could use a win. The 30-year-old Carmouche (9-4) is 1-2 since joining the UFC in February 2013. Tate (13-5) is seeking her first UFC win in her third try. While both are probably popular and successful enough to avoid an outright release if they lost, well, it’s still a good idea to win.

And it will need to be earned. Both women are known for brawling stand-up styles, making up in power and gumption what they might lack in pedigree or diversity. The ground is where each fighter’s bread is buttered, though, with Carmouche in particular displaying formidable strength in her takedowns, top control and submission attempts (remember when she almost turned Rousey into Linda Blair with that backpack rear-naked choke?).

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche during their UFC women's world bantamweight championship bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tate is also known for her cage smarts, and that’s not lost on Carmouche, who has a pretty good head on her own shoulders. In particular, Carmouche said she’s wary of one interesting propensity she and her team noticed while studying Tate’s previous scraps.

“She looks like she has nothing left in her when maybe she does. She almost plays possum,” Carmouche said. “There are definitely moments when she seems done, but then she comes back stronger.”

Either way, Carmouche said a new commitment to a lighter commitment to training has her feeling good going into fight night, thanks to a little help from her friends.

“I’m feeling great and camp went well,” she said. “There are a lot of expectations for both of us, and anything is possible.”

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Scott Harris covers MMA for Bleacher Report. Follow Scott on Twitter.