Miesha Tate already has a featured spot on one of the UFC’s most anticipated events of all-time, but if all goes as planned this summer, she also hopes to help welcome mixed martial arts to the Empire State in November.
Tate will defend her bantamweight crown for the first against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Cupcake” defied the odds to capture 135-pound gold by submitting Holly Holm in the fifth round at UFC 196 this past March.
Even with Nunes looming, Tate is confident enough to look ahead to her next title defense -- and it could be a blockbuster.
“I think everything happens for a reason. I told everybody I was gonna beat Holly and I did,” Tate said during a press conference in New York on Wednesday. “I’m meant to be here. I’m gonna beat Amanda on [July 9]. Hopefully after that we’ll see Ronda in Madison Square Garden. That would be great.”
Tate and Ronda Rousey have already squared off twice in title bouts, with Rousey winning via armbar on both occasions -- once in Strikeforce and once in the UFC. The promotion’s New York debut date of Nov. 12 would seem to align with the timeframe that UFC President Dana White said Rousey would make her Octagon return.
The ex-bantamweight queen has been on hiatus since her knockout loss to Holm at UFC 193 last November, focusing on a burgeoning Hollywood career. Rousey recently added a three-film deal with Lifetime network to her list of projects. According to White, Tate has filled the role of UFC champion well.
“Miesha’s great. She does just fine as champion,” he said. “She’s a great representative of the sport. Been around for a long time. Been the best in the world for a long time. Other than Ronda, she’s been the best in the world for six, seven, eight years.”