Miesha Tate was perhaps the first UFC women’s bantamweight who expressed a willingness to face Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and she is still up for the challenge now.
Tate said her run as UFC champion kept that idea completely off the table, but now that she is no longer the champion she thinks UFC would allow her to compete in a 140 catchweight bout against the women’s featherweight powerhouse.
“When I was the champ, they told me that they would not … do a catchweight, so either she has to meet you at 135 or you have to not be the champion,” Tate said on The MMA Hour (transcription via MMA Fighting). “So now that I’m not the champion, I technically could fight her at 140. I wouldn’t be against it. The thing is, I just feel like I have nothing to lose in that.”
Tate is coming off her title loss at UFC 200 against Amanda Nunes.
“Cyborg” is coming off her second UFC bout where she headlined UFC Fight Night 95 against Lina Lansberg. “Cyborg” controlled the whole fight, and after almost finishing Lansberg late in the first, she got the TKO mid-way through the second round.
Tate says the matchup is not something which has been talked about with the UFC recently as she already has a scheduled bout coming up against Raquel Pennington at UFC 205, but she wants to put herself to the test against arguably the best female MMA fighter ever.
“You’re fighting a girl who’s such a powerhouse and such a beast and just crushing girls,” Tate said. “If I went in there and I beat her, or even gave her a solid run for her money, it says a lot. So I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it, but it’s not something that’s been discussed.
“Obviously at this point, now I have to focus on Raquel. I think she’s going to be a tough match-up. She’s a lot tougher than probably a lot of people are going to give her credit for. She’s hard to put away, she’s hard to finish, she’s going to be in it to win the whole time, so I know that I’m going to be in for a tough one.”