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Miesha Tate says defending her title is more important than making movies

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Priorities. Miesha Tate has them and they begin and end with that shiny gold thing on her shoulder.

The UFC women's bantamweight champion has been offered a ton of opportunities in a multitude of other mediums recently, but she's turned almost all of them down, Tate said at a recent media day. Her first title defense against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 is at the top of her list of importance.

"The thing is that you have to keep your eye on the task at hand and the prize at hand," Tate said. "What do you really want? That's the question I have to ask myself. What do I really want? And to me the most important thing is to defend my belt. It's not making movies, it's not anything else. If those things can fall into place at a time when it makes sense, great. But in the middle of my training camp or anything that's gonna affect that at all? You've just gotta tell them no. If those opportunities are there now, they'll surely be there after I defend the belt successfully again. That's the way I kind of look at it."

Some of that might be a veiled shot at former champion -- and Tate rival -- Ronda Rousey, who is now taking time off after losing the belt to Holly Holm at UFC 193 back in November. More than a few people have said that Rousey was not at full strength going into that fight because of all the other obligations -- namely Hollywood -- that she has.

Tate, from what she's saying, doesn't want to make the same mistake. "Cupcake" said she has become incredibly protective over her belt, which she earned by beating Holm by fifth-round submission at UFC 196 in March.

That does not mean she won't be delving into some other things after her UFC career or even in between fights. Last year, she filmed a movie "Fight Valley" along with fellow female fighters Cris Cyborg and Holm. Tate, 29, is open to doing more acting in the future, to her surprise.

"I liked it, so that was also interesting to me," Tate said. "I kind of thought that I wouldn't really like excel or be interested in something like that, but I was. You learn something new about yourself every day."

Tate (18-5) also has started a podcast called "The Miesha Tate Show" that has pretty much nothing to do with MMA. On the podcast, which she hosts, Tate talks to people from all different walks of life and mediums. "Cupcake" said she's just searching for interesting people to converse with. She's had everyone from authors to celebrity hair stylists on the show.

"The podcast has been entirely a passionate venture," Tate said. "I'm not making money off of it. I don't try to sell things on there. It's just fun for me and I feel like it maybe gives the fans a deeper look into who I am. Not just the fighter."

Count that among the things she'd like to do after fighting is done. But, for now, her mind is in one place: UFC 200 and keeping that gold belt at her home in Las Vegas.

"It's definitely a lot to juggle and there has to be a point where you say no," Tate said. "'No, I can't do this, no I can't do that, no I can't do this.' Maybe some people think you're stuck up or arrogant or whatever, but I've found that for the most part people really understand that."

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