Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is considering a move down to 125-pounds following her friend, Julianna Peña's title victory over Amanda Nunes at UFC 269.
Tate spoke with MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn and discussed the ramifications of Peña's win on the women's bantamweight division, as well as potentially her own career. The 35-year old Tacoma, Washington said the following about her continued desire to hold a world title again, but that she's thinking about a move to the flyweight division in favor of fighting Peña, who once was the first overall selection of Tate's team on 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
“This definitely changes the entire landscape of the bantamweight division,” Tate said. “I think what will be next will be Amanda and Julie. All signs point to that will be the next fight and I think Julie wins that fight again, especially because Amanda has already been broken by her once. I believe Julianna can definitely do that again, probably with more ease the second time. I need to get in the win column again so I will probably fight in March, probably is what I’m looking at. I don’t want to fight Julie because I’ve rooted for so long for her to get there. A lot can change between now and then, so I have to win and do my job so I think what really I’ve got to do is win and focus on that. If Julie’s still the champion by the time that I get there, then I think that’s a conversation we have at that time. I’ve probably got to get two wins until I’m looking at a championship fight, at least, so I’ve got to focus on me and I’m going to continue to cheer on Julie and pray that we don’t ever have to fight each other. I know that Julianna can make 125 and I can make 125. There’s also those things too. It’s not out of the question for either of us to go hunting Valentina (Shevchenko) at some point. There’s lots of dynamics. I know she really wants that fight too so we’d have to see what happens if everything continues to play out in that direction, there’s always that possibility of us going to 125 for either of us too.”
She continued on to add that she doesn't necessarily leave the 135-pound women's division off a loss after losing her last outing to Ketlen Vieira via a unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 43, but that the move to 125-pounds is something she will continue to think about.
“It’s something I’ve definitely thought about, but I definitely don’t want people thinking that I’m running at 135,” Tate said. “I hate the idea of leaving a division on a loss. It really bugs me. Something really bothers me about that, leaving the division on a loss. It’s something I’ve thought about, but at the same time, I feel like I need more time to digest all of that. It’s not out of the question by any means, but it would be a long process to get down to 125. I’ve been pretty vocal that I’m not a fan of big weight cuts, so I would probably have to do some things to change my body to get down to that weight, but it’s not something that’s way out in left field. It’s definitely something I feel like it would be an option. I just have to decide to. I’m definitely leaning toward staying at 135 especially given the change-ups, but it’s definitely not something out of the question.”