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Miesha Tate still open to Cris Cyborg fight: ‘I just feel like I have nothing to lose in that'

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Miesha Tate's roller-coaster year hasn't changed anything about her willingness to fight Cris Cyborg.

Tate, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion, said recently on The MMA Hour that she would be game to move up in weight and challenge Cyborg at the same 140-pound catchweight the feared Brazilian has competed at for her first two UFC fights.

"When I was the champ, they told me that they would not ... do a catchweight, so either she has to meet you at 135 or you have to not be the champion," Tate said on The MMA Hour. "So now that I'm not the champion, I technically could fight her at 140. I wouldn't be against it. The thing is, I just feel like I have nothing to lose in that."

Tate's remarks are consistent with past comments she has made about a potential meeting against Cyborg, the reigning Invicta FC featherweight champion. In March, Tate said that she "would love" to challenge herself against Cyborg. Several months later, Tate admitted that she would be at an inherent disadvantage against Cyborg, but that it also would be "really cool" to test herself against such a dreaded opponent.

Tate's words come at a time when Cyborg can finally call herself a UFC fighter. After several frustrating years spent in limbo, Cyborg has competed twice for the promotion in 2016 against Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg. The 31-year-old Brazilian won both fights with vicious knockouts, extending an unbeaten streak that spans more than a decade. However the weight cut down to 140 pounds was a struggle in both instances for Cyborg, and following the Lansberg win, she expressed her reluctance to make the cut again unless it was against a top-10 bantamweight opponent.

Tate would certainly fit the bill, considering that she is currently ranked No. 1 in the UFC's media-generated rankings and is one of the most popular women in the division.

Tate already has her next bout planned -- a showdown against Raquel Pennington on Nov. 12 at UFC 205 -- so the idea of a Cyborg superfight is one that will have to wait. But even after joking that the experience "might take a couple years off my life," Tate believes the positives of the situation would far outweigh the negatives when it comes to facing the female pound-for-pound queen.

"You're fighting a girl who's such a powerhouse and such a beast and just crushing girls," Tate said. "If I went in there and I beat her, or even gave her a solid run for her money, it says a lot. So I wouldn't be opposed to doing it, but it's not something that's been discussed.

"Obviously at this point, now I have to focus on Raquel. I think she's going to be a tough match-up. She's a lot tougher than probably a lot of people are going to give her credit for. She's hard to put away, she's hard to finish, she's going to be in it to win the whole time, so I know that I'm going to be in for a tough one."

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