Miesha Tate, who has lost twice to Ronda Rousey, thinks the former UFC bantamweight champion showed a real vulnerability when she opened up about having suicidal thoughts following her title-fight loss to Holly Holm last November.
“I thought that was a big sign of mental weakness, to be honest,” Tate, who went on to win the bantamweight title by beating Holm, told SI.com’s Maggie Gray.
Rousey confessed in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that she thought, ” ‘What am I any more if I’m not this?’ ” in the immediate aftermath of her loss to Holm. “And I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself and that exact second I’m like, ‘I’m nothing, what do I do any more and no one gives a [expletive] about me any more without this.’”
Tate, who now is likely to defend her title with a third fight against Rousey, admitted that she has coped differently with defeat.
“I’ve been down and out in this sport, too, obviously losing my fight to Ronda,” said Tate of her 2013 loss to Rousey in UFC 168. “That was really, really hard for me. But my mind-set is to get back in the gym and get better, get stronger and learn from it and come back, and now here I am with the world title.
“It makes me wonder what kind of a fighter will return when Ronda, if Ronda, does return.”
That fight has not yet been scheduled, but Rousey has indicated she will return to the Octagon in 2016. As for Tate, her confidence is growing.
“She’s been exposed, for sure,” she told Maxim (via MMAFighting.com). “I really question her mentality. I know whenever I’ve been put through any kind of adversity or come back from a loss the first thing I want to do when I come back from a loss is to get in the gym and get better. That’s not what I heard from her. I have yet to hear, ‘Oh, I just want to get back in the gym and get better.’ She has other reasons and other things she wants to go focus on so it just makes me question.
“She said she wants to have kids with [boyfriend] Travis Browne [in the DeGeneres interview]. I don’t know where her mind is with everything. I’m not really seeing something that sticks out to me that I can identify with like, ‘Is this a comeback fighter?’ I don’t know. We’re questioning whether she’ll ever fight again. It seems to me like she’s in a weird mental state. And I feel like I’m mentally the best I’ve ever been. It’s all come together perfectly. Another thing is the camp I’ve been working with. We’re on a five-fight win streak. My coaches and I have really gelled and we’re speaking the same language. I feel like I’m evolving quickly. Not only physically, but mentally and my confidence. Everything.”