Miesha Tate just can't avoid talking about Ronda Rousey.
Yesterday, the UFC women's bantamweight champion joined RJ Clifford and Steve Cofield on SiriusXM Rush Fight Club to hang out and shoot the breeze; inevitably the conversation turned towards the former champion Rousey, specifically the story that came out from Tate about Rousey bullying Paige VanZant.
"I think Ronda is somewhat emotionally unstable and I think that's been characteristic for a long time. Doesn't mean she fights any worse for it. I'm not knocking her as an athlete but emotionally she's just got some things that are a little bit strange and I think that that was one of them."
Rousey and Tate have been long time rivals dating back to the build up of their first fight in Strikeforce in 2012 so it's unsurprising that Tate didn't have the kindest words to say about Rousey. However, Tate was very complimentary of VanZant - who recently finished second on Dancing with the Stars, a performance which Tate called "magnificent" - but noted that she would have reacted differently.
"I feel like you can tell a lot about a person who, if they're nice to people that they don't have to be nice to or if they're not nice to people that they don't have to be nice to, and I feel like things that sometimes people don't see on the massive media outlets is the way Ronda is behind scenes.
This is just one example. This is a big reason why Ronda and I don't get along. It's not even the career, it's the difference in our personal perspectives. That's why we have the rivalry. We just happen to also be in the same profession and fighting in the same weight class and that's what people are really interested in but truly this is where I disagree with Ronda the most.
This is why I feel like I identify with Paige more. She's so kind and when this whole thing happened she was like, ‘we're emotional beings and hopefully I can make it right with Ronda" and she's still such a sweetheart but I'm not that way....
When Ronda does things like that to me I'm just like, ‘No, eff you.' I'm not gonna bow down and not say how I feel."
As with seemingly all fighter interviews these days, the topic of conversation eventually shifted towards the UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Tate, who has previously spoken about McGregor's decision not to attend mandatory press obligations for UFC 200, was asked to defend her position against the host's claims that McGregor should be afforded preferential treatment because he has made the UFC so much money.
"He has done amazing things for our sport and he's a huge piece in all of this, he really is. He's a star. He's a great fighter, he's a great talker, he's hilarious, he sells cards well. Nobody can refute that.
But when you say, ‘someone deserves a break or special treatment,' I don't disagree with that. My point is he already gets that. A lot. They wanted to fly him out three months before UFC 200 in a private jet where he could have up to twenty people come with him. No one else gets that. Nobody else. That is preferential treatment. That is special.
He can bring his entire camp with him and work out on the plane if he wants to because it's his plane! It's private. He gets here and he gets a huge penthouse suite, he gets put up in a house, he gets a butler, he gets whatever he wants. The UFC will accommodate him in any way that they can because he is special. And that's cool. I don't mind that but then what's your excuse? You're already getting preferential [treatment], you're already getting all these great things that nobody else gets."
McGregor has been in a well publicized 'civil war' with the UFC since his refusal to attend the UFC 200 press conference and subsequent removal from the fight card. Fighters and fans have come down on both sides of the debate with no consensus on what media obligations McGregor should be required to fulfill. This debate also sparked conversation about the UFC's willingness to forego using their biggest star on their biggest card of the year. Tate says that it is because no star is bigger than the UFC and cautioned McGregor to remember that.
"The UFC has gone above and beyond to accommodate him and you've got to think about this too: how did Conor McGregor become Conor McGregor? If there was no UFC you wouldn't know who he was. It's been a mutual effort on both their parts. The UFC has spent a tremendous amount of money promoting Conor McGregor and he's made a lot of money - for himself and for them - but it's teamwork. They're both working hard to create something great and it has been great but don't change now Conor. Stay the course. This is what you've been doing this is what got you here. Don't get big headed and now think that you're above it because I think that's the downfall.
The UFC is still the UFC at the end of the day; they will move on without Conor, they will move on with or without me, they'll move on with or without Ronda. They are the masters at making stars and they made Conor McGregor - with his help. So they will make another Conor McGregor if they want to, if he doesn't want to be Conor McGregor anymore. But he kind of made his own bed and he's great at it but I figure don't change what you're doing."
Whether the UFC can create stars the magnitude of McGregor is debatable. McGregor is, by almost all accounts, the biggest star in the promotion's history, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the UFC; if they could replicate him they most certainly would do so. After some consideration, Tate seemed to agree with this idea while still believing in the power of the UFC promotional machine and the UFC's ability to succeed.
"Maybe there will never be another Conor McGregor like him, but there will be more stars to come."
Tate defends her women's bantamweight championship against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Your team is only making it worst for you trying to start shit in the hotel I'll smack everyone of you Chute Bitch!!— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) May 26, 2016
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2001: Wanderlei Silva knocked out Shungo Oyama at Pride 14: Clash of the Titans, setting himself up for a shot at the first ever Pride middleweight championship (205 lbs.) against Kazushi Sakuraba. This event also featured the Pride debut ofChuck Liddell who knocked out Guy Mezger in the second round.
2006: At UFC 60, Royce Gracie returned to the UFC after being gone for 11 years for a 175 lb. catch-weight bout againstMatt Hughes. Hughes manhandled Gracie en route to a first round stoppage due to strikes. The event was the most successful UFC Pay Per View at the time doing a reported 620,000 buys.
1990: UFC flyweight Geane Herrera
1981: UFC flyweight Chris Cariaso
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