Miesha Tate claims that it was the UFC who ultimately made the call on her opponent for UFC 200.
So we won’t be getting a rematch of the greatest women’s bantamweight title fight in UFC history. Instead, fifth-ranked Amanda Nunes (12-4, UFC 5-1) will face the newly crowned champion on the landmark UFC 200 card.
It seemed like an odd choice considering Holly Holm has yet to book a fight, Ronda Rousey has stated she wants her belt back and Cat Zingano was passed over despite having beaten both Tate and Nunes, but Cupcake explained to MMAJunkie that it was the UFC who were pushing for this match-up.
“They thought that Amanda was the next best girl in line. They were like, ‘Look, you just beat Holly. You finished her.’ They didn’t feel that it was necessary to have an immediate rematch; it didn’t warrant an immediate rematch. It wasn’t one of those performances or such a crazy fight that we’ve got to have an immediate rematch.”
When the brass suggested Nunes, Tate did not hesitate to agree to the bout. She confessed that Nunes was someone who she’d been eyeing up for a while now.
“It was kind of like, ‘Let’s open up the division – we’d like you to fight Amanda. I said, ‘Cool.’ Amanda’s someone I’ve had my eye on for a while, and I know she’s had her eye on me. Now’s the time we get to get in there and do what we do.”
However, Holm’s longtime manager, Lenny Fresquez, has a very different view on why his fighter was snubbed of an immediate rematch to try to reclaim her belt. He told The Albuquerque Journal that the decision was made by the fighter, not the promotion.
“Holly was offered to her and she chose Nunes. She chose to take a weaker opponent. She’s not as stand-up as Holly. She said she’d take on the best, but she’s not willing to take on the best. Holly gave her a chance. We’re pretty disappointed she didn’t return the favor.”
— Setanta Sports (@SetantaSports) March 6, 2016
Tate disagrees with Fresquez’s version of events. She also takes issue with the manager claiming she owes the Preacher’s Daughter a favour because she gave her a title shot at UFC 196. Tate believes Holm’s team wanted her for Holm’s first defence because they thought of it as a “tuneup fight” before fighting Rousey again.
“They didn’t do it as a favor to me. It’s not like they were, ‘You know, we really want to do this for Miesha, we’ll just give her a chance.’ No, they gave themselves a chance to have a big payday and remain the champion, and they thought I was going to be an easy fight, and it backfired. They did it for themselves because they thought they were going to win. They did not do it for my sake.”
Tate believes that if the tables were turned, Holm wouldn’t have offered her an immediate rematch.
“So for me to turn around and say, ‘I’m going to do this for Holly’s sake,’ we both went in there (at UFC 196) never having fought each other before, both with an opportunity to win, and if Holly had won, I guarantee you she would not be giving me an immediate rematch.”
“She would be looking to fight the next best person, either Ronda or someone she hadn’t fought. So when you look at it from that perspective, they can’t really (say) they did me a favor.”