With free agency rapidly approaching, Miesha Tate is actively pursuing a more lucrative UFC contract.
The UFC women’s bantamweight star was in New York on Thursday attending the “Protect Yourself” campaign, a UFC public awareness campaign aimed at stressing the importance of safe sex and HIV testing.
After a press conference for the event, Tate revealed to MMAFighting.com that her next fight would be the last on her current four-fight UFC contract. She also mentioned that she would rather forgo free agency and go ahead and get a new deal done before stepping back into the Octagon.
But first, there is the issue of dollar signs.
According to Tate, her current pay is still reflective of her old Strikeforce contract, which the UFC picked up when it purchased the San Jose-based promotion in 2011:
"I do want to get paid more, of course. I think my stock's gone up a lot since fighting in the UFC. I think the contract that transpired when I was still in Strikeforce, transitioning to the UFC, doesn't reflect what I feel like I'm worth. So that's a whole process that has to happen."
Tate’s stock certainly has risen since joining the UFC.
Outside of UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey, she is easily the most recognizable face in all of women’s MMA.
With that said, it would be a major surprise if the UFC rushes to get a new deal done. Despite her immense popularity, Tate is only 1-2 in the UFC, and her only win came in a nail-biting decision over Liz Carmouche less than a month ago.
The more likely course of action is for the UFC to sit back and see how Tate performs in her next fight, which could come against a familiar face. Former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champ Sarah Kaufman recently took to Twitter and called Tate out for a rematch of their May 2009 bout.
The week's about come to a close and I'm wondering, @MieshaTate how much time would you like to prepare? We both want it, fans want it too!— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) May 3, 2014
Tate, who is admittedly not a fan of verbal sparring on social media, expressed interest in avenging her loss to Kaufman:
I haven't responded to it because I don't want to get involved with the childish cattiness of Twitter back-and-forth. I feel like she's trying to suck me into that.
She's definitely someone that I'm interested in fighting because I did lose a 29-28 back in the day when women's MMA was still only allowed to fight three, three-minute rounds. Definitely, she's someone I have on my radar. I'm just not looking to make a quick turnaround and fight next month, for instance.
A win over a bona fide contender like Kaufman would go a long way toward landing that lucrative UFC contract. Tate would be in a much better position to get her Johnny Manziel on and force the UFC to show her the money.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.