“I’ll win [a rematch]. That’s it. I don’t know how. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. But I know that I am the strongest that I’ve ever been. And here I stand at the best moment of my career, the most confident that I’ve ever been, the best version of Miesha Tate and she’s at the worst. She’s at the lowest point of her career. I think she’s second-guessing whether she even wants to be in it… Do I think she’ll come back the same? Something tells me no. Something tells me that she won’t and I think it’s just my take on the interviews that I’ve seen her do. I feel like she’s somewhere else other than fighting. I don’t feel like this is her No. 1 drive or source anymore… Where is her heart really laying? I know when I’ve gone through the toughest of tough – I’ve been head kicked and knocked out before. I’ve lost to Ronda twice and that was the most devastating thing that could have ever happened to me inside my career. But here I am. I made myself better for it. I made myself stronger. And I don’t recognize that in Ronda. That’s all that I’m saying. I don’t recognize the same desire, the same drive, the same passion, the same willingness to overcome that kind of adversity. I don’t see that in her.”
Penick’s Analysis: The longer Rousey is out of the cage, the more reasonable it is to question her motivation to compete in this sport after that loss to Holly Holm last year. It’s not even a guarantee that she’ll wind up fighting again, and if she does return and no longer has the level of confidence that brought her to where she was. Until we see her back it’s impossible to know, and if she fights Tate and loses it will drive her further away. She’s open to criticism until she returns to address it, and she can erase some of it by coming back strong. For now, Tate’s got the platform and upper hand until something changes.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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