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Count Miesha Tate among those who’d like to see Rousey vs. Cyborg

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

As MMA is not immune to gossip, rumors have swirled recently as to what big UFC announcement is on the horizon for women’s MMA. After Joe Rogan appeared on Kevin & Bean on Los Angeles’ KROQ saying that some major news was about to drop from the UFC, speculation has tended towards two scenarios: That current bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was going to face movie star Gina Carano next, or that Rousey was going to fight Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.

Whatever it is, count Miesha Tate, who lost to Rousey at UFC 168 in December, among those who’d rather see the latter than the former. Tate appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and said she wasn’t sure Carano -- who has been out of action since 2009 -- was a legitimate match-up for Rousey, who defended her title a couple of weeks ago at UFC 170 against Sara McMann.

"I think that would be a lot for Gina to take on, having a five-year layoff," Tate said. "I don’t know, I think the fans would really get a kick out of it, so I understand the entertainment value. The fan in me would be a little curious to see it, but I don’t know if it would be a fair match-up, just because she’s been out of the loop for so long.

"And to even make 135 again, we’re talking about questionable. She struggled to make 145, who’s going to say five years later she’s going to want to fight Ronda Rousey at 135. It’s a little far-fetched."

As far as a potential Rousey-Cyborg match-up, though, Tate said she would be just as curious as anybody as to how that would play out.

"Everyone wants to see that fight," she said. "I think that Cyborg has proven time and time again that she is one of the baddest women on the planet. If she can be the Invicta FC champion at 135, I think she’s done enough. I think that it’s definitely a fair match-up, and I think everybody, including myself, would absolutely love to see it."

Though Tate has been "out of the loop" traveling in Europe and starting her fight camp for her April 19 fight with Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX 11, she said she did catch Rousey’s last performance against McMann in February. The hostilities between Rousey and Tate were well documented throughout the airing of The Ultimate Fighter 18, but Tate says she’s moved on.

And she also thought that McMann saw the best version of Rousey, who for the first time finished an opponent with something other than an armbar, that’s been on display yet.

"She looked great," Tate said. "I think the thing about Ronda is every fight she is getting better. I personally was never one to say she was a one-trick pony. I always said that was the best thing she had was her armbar. Clearly I still think that’s still the best thing she has, but obviously I fought the best version of Ronda, and I think Sara McMann fought an even better version of her because she’s evolving her game.

"She looked good. She was able to showcase something else. And like I said, that’s where the compliments will stop. I think she’s an incredible athlete, and she has a great skill set, and that’s all that I can say. I’ll stop there."

A lot has been made about Rousey spurning Tate at the end of their December bout by refusing to shake Tate’s hand. Tate herself said that she didn’t read too much into it, as the gesture was par for the course.

"I don’t know if I expected anything different," she said. "It was just kind of what I got used to, but that was my bury the hatchet, last ditch effort to say, you know what, we laid it all on the line, you came out the better fighter, I respect you for that. That was my offering, she didn’t want to accept it, and that’s fine.

"That’s the difference between her and I, and it’s just her and it’s just me. I think if the world, if everybody was the same, then the world would be a really boring place. Some people like the fact that she’s that way, and kind of ornery, and other people have kind of shifted gears and been a little bit thrown back by that, that she’s that way."