Miesha Tate: “I was blessed to have a rival like Ronda Rousey”

Former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate recently reflected on her well-known rivalry with Ronda Rousey.

Tate and Rousey fought twice in their MMA careers. In 2012, Rousey won the Strikeforce bantamweight title by submitting Tate in the first round via an armbar. In 2013, following a fun back-and-forth three round war, Rousey retained her UFC title by submitting Tate in the third round with the same armbar.

In hindsight, I definitely feel like it was a good thing,” Tate told MMAjunkie. “I feel like I was blessed to have a rival like Ronda Rousey. Because, without the two of us, there wasn’t enough. She wasn’t enough by herself, and I wasn’t enough, definitely, by myself.

It was the two of us together, our fight in Strikeforce, that made Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say, ‘Wow, OK, maybe the UFC can have a women’s division because these two were competitive.’”

Tate also went on to explain why she let Rousey snap her arm in half during their encounters.

“I think it was her and my fight together that was so close,” Tate said. “It was back-and-forth, and there was lots of action. She would almost catch me and then I’d have her back. It was very competitive, and even at the end, I refused to tap. I let her literally snap my arm in half. That was my choice. I got put in the armbar; that wasn’t my choice. But to let it literally fold backwards was definitely my choice.

That was because I’m so stubborn, and I had a lot of heart and desire, and I didn’t want to give up. And I think all of those facts together are a big part of the reason why the women’s division is here today. And why we actually have four women’s divisions. It started because that fight was so close and contested. It was a good fight. I can look at it objectively and say it was a very good fight.

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