The reason? It's all a matter of direction. Tate believes she is pointing one way -- up -- and Rousey is plummeting the other.
"It's really simple," Tate told Megan Olivi in "The Exchange" on UFC Fight Pass. "I'll win. That's it. I don't know how. I don't know exactly what I'm gong to do. But I know that I am the strongest that I've ever been. And here I stand at the best moment of my career, the most confident that I've ever been, the best version of Miesha Tate and she's at the worst. She's at the lowest point of her career. I think she's second-guessing whether she even wants to be in it."
Tate (18-5) does not think the Rousey that returns to the UFC will be the same one we've seen previously. The current women's bantamweight champion questions whether fighting is still the former champ's focus.
"Do I think she'll come back the same?" Tate said. "Something tells me no. Something tells me that she won't and I think it's just my take on the interviews that I've seen her do. I feel like she's somewhere else other than fighting. I don't feel like this is her No. 1 drive or source anymore."
Tate will make her first title defense against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. "Cupcake" won the title from Holly Holm via fifth-round submission at UFC 196 in March. Tate and Rousey, of course, have a long history. Rousey beat Tate to win the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title in 2012 and then defeated Tate again in 2013 to retain the UFC belt.
A third fight seemed to be destiny last year after Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in August and Tate beat Jessica Eye to secure the No. 1 contender spot a week earlier. The UFC, though, decided to go with Holm challenging Rousey at UFC 193 in November. And we all know what happened next: Holm knocked out Rousey with a head kick in the second round to stunningly win the title.
Rousey (12-1) has not fought since and has a ton on her plate in Hollywood. Tate, 29, thinks she'll eventually return, but does not know when and what level she will be at.
"Where is her heart really laying?" Tate said. "I know when I've gone through the toughest of tough -- I've been head kicked and knocked out before. I've lost to Ronda twice and that was the most devastating thing that could have ever happened to me inside my career. But here I am. I made myself better for it. I made myself stronger. And I don't recognize that in Ronda. That's all that I'm saying. I don't recognize the same desire, the same drive, the same passion, the same willingness to overcome that kind of adversity. I don't see that in her."
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