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Miesha Tate doesn’t think the UFC should make a 145-pound division for Cris Cyborg yet

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LOS ANGELES — Cris Cyborg has been beating the drum hard on social media for the UFC to make a 145-pound division for her to fight in. It's hard to blame her.

The promotion has been asking her to make 140 for catchweight fights and the weight cuts have been draining. There's even a petition out there online asking for signatures for a women's featherweight division in the UFC.

Critics of a 145-pound weight class, though, have said there just isn't enough talent there to warrant an entire UFC division. Count Miesha Tate, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion, among those who feel that way. "Cupcake" thinks that the UFC should add a 125-pound division before thinking about 145.

"Personally, I think that 145 should either be in Invicta or Cyborg should make the catchweight of 140, or go to 135," Tate said Wednesday at a UFC 205 media lunch. "I think putting a 145 should come behind adding a 125. So, in order of preference, I think the 125 makes more sense before adding a 145. The depth at 145 is getting there, but I don't think there's enough 145ers to make it a really quality 145-pound division yet."

Tate will face Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York. It's a bout she hopes puts her right back on track toward a title shot. Tate lost the belt by first-round submission against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 in July.

"Cupcake" would want a fight next with whoever holds the title if she beats Pennington. She has said in the past that she would fight Cyborg and maintains that sentiment. Tate has also bandied about the idea of fighting at 125, but that could be tough considering she had difficult weight cuts her last two bouts, she said.

However, Tate said if there were an opportunity for a money fight at flyweight — like against strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk — she'd listen.

"I don't see myself probably coming down to 125 in the near future, unless it really is appealing financially," Tate said. "I'll probably just stay fat and happy at 135. ... Show me the money. Show me the money and I might diet. I'll only eat half that steak that I just ate."

As for a Cyborg fight and what the UFC can do with the current Invicta featherweight champion, Tate is very much undecided. While Cyborg has said that there's no way she can hit 135 in a healthy manner, Tate isn't sure.

"Maybe there's more that can be done to help her get her weight down and make that final cut," Tate said. "I know she made 139 the fight before her last one. Those three more pounds is a lot, but I think with a proper diet that maybe it could be possible. I don't know. I guess it really just depends."

Tate doesn't think Cyborg will have trouble finding opponents at 140 or otherwise. And the former women's bantamweight champ counts herself among those prospective foes. Tate is just happy she's not the one who has to make those decisions.

"I'm glad I don't have to answer that question," Tate said. "That is a tough spot. I think they've been doing the best that they can, having a catchweight at 140. There's plenty of women at 135 that will step up to the challenge and fight her."