Having the next step of her career booked, former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is dropping down to flyweight for her next fight. Last week it was reported that Tate will drop down from 135 pounds to 125 pounds and she will face Lauren Murphy at UFC 273 in April.
The move down to flyweight will serve as the third fight in Tate’s second tenure with the UFC after she returned last year following a five-year hiatus. Since returning to active competition, Tate has gone 1-1 with two fights coming at bantamweight where she picked up one win over Marion Reneau while dropping a recent main event fight to Ketlen Vieira.
Facing Lauren Murphy will match Tate up against the most recent flyweight title challenger, although Murphy would come up short against Valentina Shevchenko, the opportunity for her to face another world champion also serves as an opportunity for her to keep herself atop the flyweight division rankings.
With the matchup now set, Miesha Tate was a guest on The MMA Hour this week and explained why she’s moving down to flyweight and part of her decision was that when her career began, all she knew was the bantamweight division.
Miesha Tate explained her drop to flyweight on #TheMMAHour
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 17, 2022
“A few reasons. I think I automatically assumed that 135 was always my weight class because that’s all there ever was. When I got to Strikeforce there was only 135 and 145 and when I got into the UFC there was only 135 and by the time 125 came around, I was so enveloped at 135 trying to win that title and the rivalry with Ronda, and I did win the title against Holly [Holm]. As the sport has evolved, I’ve just very rarely ever had a reach advantage, rarely had a height advantage, and I started thinking about things.
Looking at several examples of fighters who found great success after making a weight change, and looked at flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko as a prime example. Additionally, Tate says she believes she’ll have physical advantages for the first time in her career.
“Even Valentina Shevchenko, she was a great fighter at 135, but she was never dominant. I’ve just seen it now a lot of times where I think that might be my true weight class if I’m being honest. I think I could have some physical advantages. I don’t feel there’s a strength discrepancy at 135, but I can only imagine fighting women who are built to be 10 pounds smaller, could lend itself to really showing my greatness rather than fighting these goliaths. I feel like I have to give it a shot.”
With opportunity right in front of her at a new weight class, Miesha Tate feels there could be advantages in her skillset and if history continues to repeat herself, she could find new success and possibly a new title opportunity ahead for her.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
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