Tate on Rousey rematch, beating Holm and her lasting legacy

Miesha Tate
"She went out like a champion," said Tate when talking about Holm. "I have so much respect for this woman."

New UFC champion Miesha Tate says she wants to face Ronda Rousey for a third time but doubts whether her nemesis will be the same fighter.

Rousey beat Tate in 2012 and 2013 but lost her bantamweight title and unbeaten record when she was knocked out by Holly Holm last year.

"She's never been hit like that in a fight," Tate, 29, told BBC World Service reporter Ade Adedoyin.

"That head kick was brutal. I don't know if she'll come back the same."

Tate beat Holm in Las Vegas last weekend to become champion and is keen to avenge her double loss to fellow American Rousey.

Rondo Rousey
Ronda Rousey of the US (left) was knocked out by compatriot Holly Holm with a kick to the neck to end the UFC title fight

However, she claims Rousey does not appear too focused on a return to the octagon.

"She is doing movies, she seems to have a career path in other areas," said Tate.

"She's obviously in love with [fellow UFC fighter] Travis Browne. She wants to have his kids. It seems like her mind is in so many other places than fighting."

Tate also says Rousey's reputation has been damaged.

"Ronda has had everything work out perfectly in her career so far," said Tate.

"Her whole plan was to retire undefeated. Now that is scratched, so her legacy is tarnished in a sort of way. I would say in a big way, actually."

What was it like to beat Holm?

Tate submitted Holm in the fifth round of their contest in UFC 196, rendering her compatriot unconscious with a choke hold.

"I'm trying to let it sink in, I'm trying to be in the moment and enjoy this because I worked very hard on this for a long time," said Tate.

"It's a very good feeling to have that sense of accomplishment.

"At the same time, there's so much to take in, so much emotion and so much to process, I don't think I've fully processed it yet."

Miesha Tate and Holly Holm
Miesha Tate (right) applied a chokehold to win by submission against Holly Holm during UFC 196

What does she think of Holm?

"She chose to step up, to take the risk," said Tate. "This time it didn't pay off the way she wanted it to.

"But it's more admirable in my mind for her to be that kind of a champion and that kind of a woman than it is to be the person who runs from a challenge.

"She wanted to take on the next biggest challenge, which was myself. She went out on her shield like a warrior. She just has all my respect."

Would Tate fight Holm again?

The new champion said: "At some point. I think it's maybe returning the favour because she stepped up for me and took that risk. When you respect someone as much as Holly, how could I tell her 'no'?

"I'm just more confident after this fight. It's just done something different for me and I think I would win before the fifth round.

"I really feel super confident now. I took her best shot. I took her down and I feel like she crumbled under that pressure.

"If she wants to do it again at some point, I'm sure we could do that, but I'm confident I will win again. Faster."

Miesha Tate and Holly Holm
Holly Holm has said to Tate: "I gave you a shot, give me a shot. I'm not going to let you choke me out again"

What's Tate's approach to fighting?

"I'm not a fan of fighters who just win, I'm a fan of fighters that push through adversity or carry themselves in a way that I feel is more humble," adds Tate.

"I admire humble champions because that's when you have the opportunity to do all the bragging.

"When I'm done fighting some day, I hope people say: 'Man, that Miesha girl was so tough she never gave up.'

"We all win some and lose some, but I would rather be remembered for the person who, when they get knocked down, they get back up, rather than just for winning."

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