A rematch between Miesha Tate and Holly Holm was on the table for UFC 200, according to a report from the Albuquerque Journal.
Holm’s manager, Lenny Fresquez, told the Journal on Thursday that Tate was presented with the chance to face Holm again at the promotion’s bicentennial event on July 9, but the new bantamweight queen chose to face Amanda Nunes instead.
“They tell me Tate chose [Nunes],” Fresquez said. “Holly was offered to her and she chose Nunes. She chose to take a weaker opponent.
“She’s not as stand-up as Holly. She said she’d take on the best, but she’s not willing to take on the best. Holly gave her a chance. We’re pretty disappointed she didn’t return the favor.”
Tate offered a different account in an interview with MMAJunkie.com, however. The champion said that the UFC presented Nunes as the top option, while Tate's representative, Josh Jones, claimed that a Holm rematch was never discussed.
After Holm captured bantamweight gold with a knockout of Ronda Rousey last November, the UFC made it very clear that it preferred that the Jackson-Wink MMA representative wait for Rousey to return to the Octagon to set up a lucrative rematch. Holm and her camp preferred to take a fight in the interim, and “The Preacher’s Daughter” agreed to face Tate at UFC 196.
Holm was ahead on the scorecards against Tate late in the fifth round of their March 5 encounter before she was taken down and submitted at the 3:30 mark of the period. During an appearance on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight, Tate made no mention of declining a Holm rematch, although she did say that Nunes was the most deserving opponent.
“The fight with Holly, it was her first defense and she wasn’t successful in it,” Tate said. “It’s not like she’s a longtime reigning champion, and I finished the fight. So I think the next viable contender and the most dangerous woman after that would be Amanda Nunes.”
As for Holm’s immediate future, Fresquez told the Journal that he would prefer for his fighter to wait for another title shot. “The Preacher’s Daughter” could nix that idea herself, although Fresquez said that their camp hasn’t been offered any other bouts at this point.
“She likes to stay active,” Fresquez said. “She’s the boss. My job is to do what her desires are.”
Note: This story was updated at 10 p.m. ET to include information from Tate's interview with MMAJunkie.com interview