Miesha Tate gearing up for conversations with UFC: “I’m pretty dead-set on what I feel like I deserve and what I want”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Miesha Tate continues to vent her frustrations with the UFC publicly, and she’s now saying the UFC is going to have to make good in some capacity before she even thinks about getting back into the Octagon.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Tate said she’s going to be meeting with the UFC soon to have a long-overdue conversation, and she’s going to be very clear about what she wants and what she feels she deserves.

“It’s either going to go up in flames or [Dana White] is going to say that I’m making some valid points and make some adjustments,” Tate said. “I’m pretty dead-set on what I feel like I deserve and what I want. I know what I want, and I’m just not going to take anything less. So I guess he’s going to have to be prepared to deal with one stubborn woman.

“…I’m not willing to bend and I’m not willing to break. I’m a very, very stubborn person,” she continued. “I’m a very, very strong-willed person. I think I’m a fair person. I don’t think I’m asking for too much. But again, too, I feel like Joe Rogan maybe said it best. He said, ‘you know, I get it, I completely sympathize with Miesha.’ He’s like, ‘I don’t understand why there is such a big discrepancy between No. 1 and No. 2.’ And he said Ronda made over $6 million according to Forbes just off of her fighting last year, and I’ll tell you I made nowhere near, not even close to that, and yet they want me to fight higher-ranked and much better skilled opponents than Ronda is fighting? And she gets paid millions and I get paid pennies on the dollar?

“I need to know for myself, for my career, what my next move is going to be, and I have some more demands that I want to make. I realize that Ronda is making a lot, and I just feel like when I walk out for my weigh-ins, when I walk out for my fights, I have an amazing fanbase. They really always show their love and appreciation, and you can tell that I have the loudest crowd response pretty much of anyone fighting on the card, besides Ronda of course. But when it’s a card by myself, I always have a huge crowd response. I have a tremendous fanbase, and I don’t think any of us really want retirement to be the situation. So the UFC needs to kind of wake up and smell the coffee and make something work.”

Tate made a further point regarding the UFC offering her a fight with Amanda Nunes, one which they wanted to have on UFC Fight Pass, and how it simply didn’t make sense given the current circumstances.

“They said, ‘would you be interested?’ And I just said, ‘you know what, you guys’ – it was on a Fight Pass card – and I said, ‘this is not all [okay],” Tate said. “You guys go from taking a pay-per-view title fight and you want to offer me a fight on Fight Pass? I don’t care who it is, I’m not fighting on Fight Pass at the moment. I understand Fight Pass is growing, but I was like, I’ve already done my Fight Pass fight with Rin Nakai. You know what I’m saying? It felt like another slap in the face, so I was just so frustrated that it just wasn’t appealing to me whatsoever. It’s nothing against Amanda. She’s an amazing fighter, and I would love that fight at some point. I think we would put on a spectacular fight. But it’s kind of like, when push comes to shove, my way of pushing back.

“Because again, Amanda is ranked fourth or fifth, and Holly is ranked ninth or something like that. Like I said, this is dumb. I’m not the champion, so why am I fighting girls tougher than Ronda for pennies on the dollar? Period. It’s a matter of making a statement and just saying to the UFC, I’m not going to be pushed around into this so it’s not going to happen unless you guys make some serious changes.”

Penick’s Analysis: The thing with Tate’s current state of frustration and being as disgruntled as she’s been is that she’s completely in the right. She just is. And she makes a great point regarding the pay disparity when they want her to fight tougher competition than Rousey’s getting paid to beat, at least from a rankings standpoint. Now, even Tate wouldn’t argue that she should be earning as much as Rousey at this point; she recognizes who and what Rousey is and has become in 2015. Still, she’s got a significant support base, she’s got people who pay money to see her as well, and she’s been performing in the cage. It’s clearly now significant pay bump or bust for Tate, and she deserves to get a fair look on that front from the UFC, especially with how they handled everything to close out the summer.

[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]

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