The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion of the world Miesha Tate aired her concerns about the way the UFC is changing in its modern era.
Tate’s run in both Strikeforce and the UFC saw her establish herself as one of the sport’s true underdogs in every sense of the word.
Everything from her secondary role in that heated rivalry with Ronda Rousey to her unbelievable comeback victory over Holly Holm at UFC 196 to win the 135lb title endeared her to fans and saw her become one of the sports most popular figures.
She hung up her gloves for good after a decision loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 and since then, has been able to carve out some tremendous opportunities for herself in her post-fighting career.
Now, with her new role as vice-president of Asian promotion ONE Championship, Miesha is attaching herself to a rapidly growing brand – one who have been making some serious moves towards establishing themselves within the mainstream eye.
Speaking to Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour (via MMAMania), Tate spoke about the rapidly changing attitudes and promotional styles that surround the sport and in particular, the UFC.
“I think the promotion has gone so far one way, that I don’t really identify with it anymore. We’ve gotten to a fan base that’s a lot more about what people can do and say outside of the Octagon, people flying outside of the cage and attacking people, or the trash talk from Conor McGregor or even Ronda.
“I feel like it’s different than the way that I would choose to approach or be a part of the sport.”
UFC 229 last month was certainly an event that gave us a major indication of where the ever-changing landscape of the sport was at. Everything from the infamous UFC 223 media day bus attack to the profanity-laden press conferences and of course, the post-fight melee made for an ugly watch to those who are simply in it for the fights.
The fact that the numbers went through the roof for UFC 229 is no doubt a sign of the times, though.
“I think that a lot of the more tried and true fans have actually been turned off by the way that MMA has been promoted, because, for lack of a better term, it’s kind of a shit show. And it’s crazy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the audience if Khabib flew over [the cage].
“And I’m not trying to blame that on the UFC, I’m just saying that it’s escalated to that point, that people are talking such trash, that it’s getting under people’s skin — it’s getting under Khabib’s skin to the point where he’s not even really being himself, I feel like. So it’s kinda scary.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena