Miesha Tate has been given new life. After losing her chance to coach opposite UFC champion Ronda Rousey on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18, the former Strikeforce queen was recently dealt an unexpected opportunity when Cat Zingano went down with a serious knee injury.
Zingano, who stopped Tate in a technical knockout at the “TUF 17” finale six weeks ago, will now be unable to fulfill her obligation as coach on the upcoming iteration of the long-running reality series, which will feature both male and female competitors for the first time. As a result, Tate will now fill the vacant role.
“It’s unfortunate for Cat, but the UFC is all about opportunities,” Tate recently told Fox Sports. “I was so stoked when I heard I was going to get the potential spot. To coach against Ronda, [given] our rivalry, I think it makes for better TV. And I get to fight her again, so I’m stoked all around.”
Tate, 26, first met Rousey last year under the Strikeforce banner, relinquishing her bantamweight championship to the Olympic judo bronze medalist after submitting to Rousey’s trademark armbar -- a hold which badly dislocated Tate’s elbow. After the two square off as coaches on “TUF 18,” Tate will have her chance to avenge that defeat with the UFC title on the line.
“Ronda is obviously a phenomenal fighter. She’s undefeated. As a person, I don’t think she’s quite as stellar,” Tate said. “I give her credit for what she’s done and where she’s gotten in the sport of women’s MMA. Without her I don’t think we’d be as far, so I do value that. At the same time, I feel like I’m right on her heels, and I want what she has. I want the UFC belt. I want my team to win the show, and I want to be able to say that at the end of the day -- to look her in the face and say, ‘I’ve beaten Ronda Rousey.’”