Miesha Tate begs not to fight her friend Julianna Peña, open at 125
Former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is hoping to avoid a fight with her friend and defending 135-pound defending champion Julianna Peña and could move up to flyweight to do so.
Last weekend, Peña sided with Chael Sonnen and Cris Cyborg and blew the minds of the rest of the MMA community by dethroning the seemingly unstoppable Amanda Nunes. Ahead of the main UFC 269 co-event, the challenger’s confidence and self-confidence were called “delusional” by the champion and many fans, some of whom found themselves with shocked faces inside. the T-Mobile Arena.
After a strong opening round for Nunes, “The Venezuelan Vixen” flew out of the gate in the second, winning the fight against the “lioness” at the feet. After injuring the Brazilian, Peña dragged her across the mat and forced a quick blow, completing one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
Tate could pursue a different belt
Since the incredible result, discussions have turned to the reign of Peña and his future adversaries. However, one of the biggest names in the division and a former defending champion doesn’t seem willing to face the newly crowned champion if she returns to the belt.
Miesha Tate, a good friend and occasional training partner of “The Venezuelan Vixen”, expects Peña to retain gold in her likely rematch with Nunes. With that could come a tricky scenario.
Despite upholding aspirations of having a UFC strap wrapped around her waist again, “Cupcake” says MMA Junkie that she preferred to avoid entering the Octagon with Peña. Tate even suggested that she might pursue Valentina Shevchenko’s flyweight gold instead.
“A lot can change by then so I have to win and do my job, so I think what I really need to do is win and focus on that. If Julie is still the champion by the time I get there, then I think that’s a conversation we are having at that point. I probably have to get two wins until I watch a Championship fight, at least so I have to focus on myself and I’m going to continue to cheer on Julie and pray that we never have to fight each other others.
“I know Julianna can do 125 and I can do 125. There are those things too. It’s not out of the question for both of us to go hunting Valentina (Shevchenko) at some point. There are a lot of dynamics. I know she really wants this fight too, so we’ll have to see what happens if everything continues to go in that direction. There is always this possibility that we go to 125 for one of us too.
As Tate mentioned, she’s probably a few wins away from getting to the crossroads she fears. After returning from retirement earlier this year with a victory over Marion Reneau, the former champion’s charge was blocked last month in a loss to Ketlen Vieira in the main event. Now seated in 7th place in the standings, Tate will be after a few victories against the biggest names before entering the contention again.
But while expressing concern about going down a division and her desire to stay at bantamweight, the 35-year-old admitted that a transition to the 125-pound weight class was not out of the question. question as long as Peña was on the throne.
“It’s something I definitely thought about, but I sure don’t want people to think I’m running at 135,” Tate said. “I hate the idea of leaving a division with a loss. It really bothers me. Something is really bothering me about it, leaving the division in a losing streak. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, but at the same time, I feel like I need more time to digest it all. This is by no means out of the question, but it would be a long process to get down to 125. I made it pretty clear that I’m not a fan of big weight cuts, so I should probably do some things to change my mind. body to come down to that weight, but it’s not something that comes out of left field.
“It’s definitely something that I think would be an option. I just have to make up my mind. I’m definitely leaning to stay at 135, especially given the changes, but it’s definitely not something out of the question.
While the situation is something to think about for the future, former champion Nunes will look to save the pair from avoiding a showdown by immediately reclaiming the title. The Brazilian has the possibility of a rematch and seems more than willing to return with the first woman to beat her since Cat Zingano in 2014.
If Nunes doesn’t reclaim the bantamweight throne, however, and Tate records some triumphs over names like Irena Aldana; Holly Holm; and Aspen Ladd, who made it known his desire to confront Tate; maybe we’ll see “Cupcake” make a tough cut at flyweight before his career is over.
How do you think Miesha Tate would fare against flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko?