Tate’s biggest rivalry during her professional MMA career was with former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Now looking back on their long rivalry, the retired Tate now calls that rivalry a blessing.
“In hindsight, I definitely feel like it was a good thing,” Tate told MMA Junkie. “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 (UFC President) Dana White and (former UFC CEO) Lorenzo Fertitta say, ‘Wow, OK, maybe the UFC can have a women’s division, because these two were competitive.'”
Rousey did win both of the battles against Tate, first at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey in March 2012 and then UFC 168 in December 2013.
When it is all said and done, the retired Tate believes it was her rivalry with Rousey that lead to the UFC building a women’s division.
“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.”
While Tate is enjoying life after fighting, the longtime rival in Ronda Rousey has still yet to comment on what her MMA future looks like.