UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate questioned Ronda Rousey's emotional state and Conor McGregor's UFC stance in a wide-ranging and opinionated interview Thursday.
Tate appeared on SiriusXM's Fight Club (h/t Jed Meshew of MMAFighting.com), and she didn't pull any punches regarding two of the sport's biggest stars.
Tate and Rousey have a well-documented rivalry that has resulted in Rowdy twice defeating the current champ, but Tate touched on Rousey's demeanor outside the Octagon Thursday.
With regard to Tate's revelation that Rousey bullied fellow fighter Paige VanZant, the 29-year-old titleholder discussed Rowdy's state of mind: "I think Ronda is somewhat emotionally unstable and I think that's been characteristic for a long time. Doesn't mean she fights any worse for it. I'm not knocking her as an athlete but emotionally she's just got some things that are a little bit strange and I think that that was one of them."
In addition to touching on her issues with Rousey, Tate praised VanZant and discussed her relationship with the 22-year-old rising star:
This is why I feel like I identify with Paige more. She's so kind and when this whole thing happened she was like, 'we're emotional beings and hopefully I can make it right with Ronda,' and she's still such a sweetheart but I'm not that way.
When Ronda does things like that to me I'm just like, 'No, eff you.' I'm not gonna bow down and not say how I feel.
VanZant is among UFC's top up-and-comers with a record of 6-2, and she recently finished second on Dancing with the Stars, which has her on a path to mainstream stardom.
Tate also sounded off about McGregor, whose refusal to take part in promotional appearances resulted in his removal from the main event of UFC 200.
McGregor was initially scheduled to have a rematch against Nate Diaz, but after the UFC featherweight champion teased retirement on Twitter and didn't live up to his UFC commitments, he was pulled from the card.
While Tate understood McGregor's desire to receive preferential treatment because of his star power, she suggested that the Irishman owes a lot to the promotion:
The UFC has gone above and beyond to accommodate him and you've got to think about this too: how did [McGregor] become [McGregor]? If there was no UFC you wouldn't know who he was. It's been a mutual effort on both their parts. The UFC has spent a tremendous amount of money promoting [McGregor] and he's made a lot of money—for himself and for them—but it's teamwork.
They're both working hard to create something great and it has been great but don't change now, Conor. Stay the course. This is what you've been doing this is what got you here. Don't get big headed and now think that you're above it because I think that's the downfall.
McGregor won't be part of UFC 200, but Tate will take part in one of the event's top fights when she fights Amanda Nunes, defending her title for the first time since winning it from Holly Holm in March.
It is unclear when Rousey intends to return to action after taking time off to focus on her film career, but she figures to be in line for an immediate title shot.
If Tate is still the champion by that point, then a third meeting with Rousey is inevitable, and her comments will only serve to add even more fuel to a feud that was already among the best in MMA.
According to MMA Fighting's Dave Doyle, Tate felt slighted when she was bypassed for a title shot against Rousey in favor of Holm, so she may have an even bigger chip on her shoulder if/when that fight takes place.
Fights are always more entertaining and interesting when there is legitimate personal animosity between the combatants, and based on Tate's comments, that is undoubtedly the case as it relates to Rousey.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.