WATCH: Miesha Tate on women in MMA, Rousey
MANILA, Philippines - As the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) continues its expansion throughout Asia, Miesha Tate believes it won’t be long before a women’s mixed martial arts star is born in the Philippines.
After years of being told that they “just weren’t good enough” and that there “wasn’t enough girls to form a legitimate bracket”, women are finally gracing the biggest stage of the MMA world.
The year 2013 was monumental for women’s MMA as UFC added a women’s division.
While the negative reputation of women’s participation in combat sports on the Western part of the globe has declined, Tate pointed out that it still needs to be promoted for the stigma to totally diminish.
“It needs more opportunity. I think that there are young girls who are probably interested in getting into it, and we need support from men and women to encourage to let them go to the gym,” she told Rappler.
The 28-year-old native of Tacoma, Washington stressed that the Philippines will likely produce gifted female fighters as the talent pool in Asia increases its reach.
“I think that the Philippines can produce women’s fighters soon. I know Japan has already and Korea has. I am sure that soon we will see talented women coming out in this sport as well,” Tate said.
ONE Championship has Ana Julaton and Jujeath Nagaowa on its roster, while Gina Iniong competes under the Pacific Xtreme Combat banner.
Tate, one of the pioneers of female MMA and former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, is here in the country to promote the UFC’s first venture on Philippine shores and interact with local fans.
Tate says she was saddened that a women’s MMA fight was not booked for UFC Fight Night 66 as it would have been a favorable platform for its campaign.
“We need to talk about it more like right now. We need to get it out there and to get more girls understand that it’s okay for women to do that,” she stated. “I really wish there was a women’s fight on this card in the Philippines. I think it’s a huge event here because it’s the first one ever.”
Tate (16-5) is currently riding on a three-fight winning streak, defeating the likes of Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai and Sara McMann.
The 5-foot-6 “Cupcake” is scheduled to take on Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25 (July 26 in PH), with the winner earning the right to challenge the victor of the championship clash between Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC 190 on August 1 (August 2 in Manila). - Rappler.com