Should she remain at bantamweight or go to flyweight? That is the question for Miesha Tate, who is considering a change in weight class for her next Octagon appearance.
Earlier this year, Tate ended her retirement and returned to active competition with a very specific goal in mind: find herself in another championship fight. Her quest for gold went off without a hitch as the former champion scored a third-round technical knockout of the now-retired Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 31 this past July. Unfortunately, Tate then suffered a setback and dropped a unanimous decision to Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 43, but vowed to continue her journey to the top again.
Her plan has hit a snag, though. Julianna Peña, the longtime friend and training partner of Tate, defeated Amanda Nunes and claimed the bantamweight championship at UFC 269 several weeks ago. Now that the landscape of the division has drastically changed, Tate would rather avoid a fight with her friend and has thought about moving down to flyweight in an effort to do that.
Tate uploaded a video on her YouTube channel and explained the dilemma she currently finds herself in.
“So I am currently stuck in a very heavy debate with myself on whether to stay at 135 pounds or move down to 125,” said Tate. “Couple of thought processes on this. I have made my entire career at 135 pounds, minus a couple times fighting at 145 just due to lack of competition. I always assumed that  was my weight class because there never was a 125 pound opportunity. Now as I sit back in the second part of my career, I’m thinking, ‘Hmm, should I go down?’
“The things that factor into that for me, Julianna just became the champion at 135 pounds,” continued Tate. “I’m very excited for her, but we’ve been good friends for a long time. We grew up in the sport together and preferably I don’t want to have to fight her, if I can be completely honest. I would prefer that we could both be champions.”
‘Cupcake’ then said that she still has unfinished business at 135, which is why she has yet to fully commit to 125 pounds for the next phase of her UFC tenure. However, the advantages she would have in a new division have been tempting for Tate.
A potential meeting with reigning queen Valentina Shevchenko is also very appealing, and Tate would, of course, pursue that fight.
“The reason I don’t really like the idea of leaving the bantamweight division is because I’m coming off of a loss, a fight that I feel like I could’ve won. I should’ve won, but I failed to execute a better game plan and ended up losing the decision. So I know that I need to make those improvements and it really bothers me, the idea of leaving a division on a loss.”
“However, height and reach have never been an advantage for me at 135 pounds. So when I look at moving down to 125, [it] maybe the first time in my career when I would actually have those physical advantages. And I also think the 125-pound division could use some spicing up. I look at the top four women and they’ve all already fought for a title. So, there’s Julie as the champion at bantamweight and Valentina Shevchenko at flyweight, who I am a big fan of, she’s damn near perfect but I love the idea of fighting her as well.”
Because of her recent interest in flyweight, Tate has already received a call out from a ranked contender. Jéssica Andrade told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting that she “would love” to welcome Tate to the division.
As for other ideas? When one viewer suggested Tate consider making a move to other platforms outside of her Octagon career – like, say, starting an OnlyFans account – her response couldn’t have been clearer. Just because she’s thinking of moving divisions doesn’t mean she’s looking for other sources of revenue.
“No where in this video did I say I was desperate,” Tate wrote in response to a comment on her vlog. Which means that fans who want to see photos of the former champ will just have to stick to Instagram.
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