The UFC women's bantamweight champion said Monday at a media lunch that she'd be willing to fight Cyborg, even at a catchweight of 140 pounds. The idea of facing the Invicta FC 145-pound champion -- and arguably the baddest woman on the planet -- is very interesting to her.
"I think it would be really cool to fight Cyborg, honestly," Tate said. "Like to really see what it's like to be in there with someone with her power. ... I'll be the first to admit, physically I think I would be at a disadvantage, but I think that I can be the one to prove that I have the heart, the durability, the determination and the will power -- and technique -- to overcome that kind of challenge. And that intrigues me. That would be very rewarding to me."
Tate (18-5) obviously has plenty on her plate right now before that bout would happen. She defends the belt for the first time against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. That is Tate's focus right now. But the Cyborg bout has crossed her mind.
"Cupcake" has said she'd be will to move up and face Cyborg at a catchweight. Cyborg fights primarily at 145, but she beat Leslie Smith at 140 last month at UFC 198 in Brazil. That was Cyborg's UFC debut.
"It hasn't changed, but the thing is, is I don't know if I can not fight for the belt while I'm the champion," Tate said. "I don't know how that works. I'm not Conor McGregor. He has like his own set of rules. I'm not really sure. I wouldn't be opposed to it. But I think it would be better if we did make it a title fight. At some point if that comes down and it's allowed, like of course."
Cyborg (16-1, 1 NC) and her team have been on record that it would be nearly impossible -- and healthy -- for her to cut to 135, though she made 139 pounds for the Smith fight. Tate, who has a good relationship with Cyborg, does believe she could make the weight if she tried. She also said she's "confused," like many, about Cyborg's future. Will she remain in the UFC permanently or return to Invicta to defend the title.
Cyborg, 30, has not lost since 2005 and has finished her last 10 opponents.
"I think she can make 135 pounds, but yeah, she's a very big girl," Tate said. "She's naturally big and I'm sure that it would be really a difficult cut for her. She'd have to lose money. She wouldn't just be able to lose the water weight. She'd have to come down."