Watching live last night at UFC 183 Miesha Tate appeared to display a great deal of heart in her victory over Sara McMann as she survived a rough first round in which she was rocked on the feet and then controlled on the mat before rallying in the later rounds to emerge with a majority decision victory.
However, her performance was even more impressive when it came to light backstage after the event that Tate had in fact suffered a broken orbital in the opening round, but had fought through the pain to earn her victory.
“I have a really bad headache right now,” Tate stated at the post-fight press conference. “She clipped me pretty good in the first round and actually broke my orbital bone in two spots, so I can’t look down and this bright light over here is not very comfortable, to say the least. She’s as tough as they come, and she can pack a punch, that’s for sure. I know it doesn’t look bad, but it feels pretty crappy.”
The victory was Tate’s third in a row and leaves her firmly cemented as the No.2 contender in the division below current champion Ronda Rousey and the next challenger to her title Cat Zingano who will clash in the main event of UFC 184 in Los Angeles at the end of February.
Tate has already lost twice to Tate, so there’s no guarantee she’ll get the next shot at the belt if Rousey emerges victorious, but she’s made it clear both inside and outside the Octagon that she’ll do whatever it takes to get another chance to fight for the title.
“I suppose it depends who wins,” Tate said of her title chances. “If it’s Ronda, obviously I think I have a little bit more work to do. If it’s Cat, I think a better argument could be made. So we’ll see who wins out of those two. But I’ve already told everyone that I’m willing to do what it takes to get back to that. I’m not asking for it right now. I’m not asking for any handouts. I’m willing to put my nose to the grindstone. I’m willing to beat all the other top contenders until I am the only option left if that’s what I have to do.”