Although the main card of Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman card provided most of the evening’s highlights, you would be hard pressed to find an MMA site that didn’t declare Miesha Tate’s come-from-behind win (insert puns now) over Julie Kedzie to be the most exciting fight of the evening. Despite being rocked on various occasions and almost ending up as the first entry in the head-kick-nip-slip Hall of Fame, Tate was able to brave the storm and score an armbar victory of her own late in the third round.
But up until that point, it was plain to see that there was clearly something a little off about the former title holder. Her combinations came few and far between, and her takedown attempts seemed to be lacking a certain gusto that they had previously held. While part of this could be attributed to the toughness of Kedzie, who has been training at Greg Jackson’s gym for some time now (and is in fact his personal assistant), an equal amount could just as easily be blamed on Tate’s somewhat lackadaisical attitude in the cage on Saturday night.
The fact that she still managed to pull off an amazing, gritty win over a tough opponent despite this only shows what caliber of fighter Tate truly is, but according to the source herself, we might not be seeing “Cupcake” in action for a while. In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani during The MMA Hour, Tate explained that she simply “didn’t feel the passion and fire that [she] had felt in her previous fights” when facing Kedzie:
I felt out of my element, I didn’t feel normal in there whatsoever. It was very strange, it was not a feeling I enjoyed and not something I want to experience again, I don’t really know what my next step is here. Even when I was when lined up with Julie, across the cage, I was like, ‘Is this really happening right now? Am I really here? Am I really in this fight?’ I felt like I was kind of just in this twilight zone. I did not like that. It’s not how I normally feel, not how emotions really run. Normally I’m excited to be there, I’m amped and pumped, and I felt little to nothing, and I mean, she literally elbowed me and got my lip really good and I was like ‘ehh, whatever.’ She kicked me in the face, ‘ehh, whatever,’ It was not, it wasn’t a normal circumstance for me I don’t know why that is but I’m asking myself a lot of questions. I think I need to take a step back, relax a minute, and evaluate it.
Tate’s fleeting desire to compete, at least in my opinion, could easily be attributed to the lack of depth that currently exists in WMMA. It’s bad enough that these ladies are barely making enough to cover their medical expenses, but the fact that Tate can only knock off so many “contenders” before being thrown into an inevitable rematch with Ronda Rousey must be kind of depressing considering how their first fight ended.
Tate mirrored these concerns:
I need to find a way to fire myself up again and get that passion, because I know there’s so much I still want to accomplish in MMA. I absolutely want to fight Ronda Rousey twice, but at this point, you know, mentally and emotionally, I’m not right. I shouldn’t be getting into the cage if I’m not going into it wholeheartedly for this fight. It’s hard for me to admit that, but that’s the honest truth. I didn’t feel like it for this fight like I did for other fights. I don’t know how to explain that, I guess it’s something I just have to figure out at this point.
And why would Tate have issues getting excited for her fight with Kedzie, you ask? Well, considering that she was coming off arguably the biggest fight in WMMA history, only to be placed on the undercard for her very next fight could be a factor. It could also be that Tate and Rousey were lobbing incredible amounts of shit back and forth at one another, only to have Rousey do exactly what she said she would come fight night, that has Tate discouraged. Or it could be the simple fact that Kedzie appears to be one of the nicest, kindest figures in the sport, to the point that it would be hard for even a Diaz to hate her.
It’s pure speculation at this point, but at least Tate is willing to admit that her heart is really not in the game, instead of trying to convince herself otherwise and fight on. The latter normally ends in more violent fashion.
We’ve added a brief highlight of the Tate/Kedzie fight below. Let us know what you thought of Tate’s performance in the comments section.