New UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is on top of the world ahead of her title-defense against Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas, this Saturday. Still, "Cupcake" wants a chance to one day fight Ronda Rousey for a third time.
The Rowdy One owns two submission victories over Tate, but hasn't fought since getting knocked out by Holly Holm last November. Tate took the world title for the second time when she choked Holm out, cold, in March.
Tate is confident that she can eventually get her win over Rousey should the Olympic medalist return to MMA competition. "I don't know how. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do, but I know that I am the strongest that I have ever been. Here I stand at the best moment of my career, the most confident that I've ever been, the best version of Miesha Tate. And, she's at the worst," Tate explained during an interview with Megan Olivi on UFC Fight Pass' The Exchange (above). She's at the lowest point of her career. I think she's second-guessing whether or not she even wants to be in it, talking about retirement, contemplating that or saying she's only going to come back for one fight, and fight me."
Tate knows how she's responded to defeat and says she isn't seeing a similar reaction from Rousey, following her first professional loss. "I would expect things like, you know, 'I need to get right back in there, I've got to prove this, I'm going to go on another title run.' Those are not things that I've been hearing from Ronda. Where is her heart really laying," she asked.
"I know that when I've gone through the toughest of tough times - I've been head kicked and knocked out, before. I've lost to Ronda, twice, [and] that was the most devastating thing that could have ever happened to me inside my career. But, here I am. I've made myself better for it. I've made myself stronger."
In the end, the highly-skilled Tate still seems to take the most confidence from her grit and resolve. Tate's self-belief may be simple but was forged by fire and earned.
"I don't recognize that in Ronda," she concluded.
"I don't recognize the same desire, the same drive, the same passion, the same willingness to overcome that kind of adversity. I don't see that in her."