She's been on the mend since March, but former Strikeforce bantamweight champ Miesha Tate is ready to prove she's ready for another title shot.
"I think losing the title took me back a couple of steps," Tate (12-3 MMA, 5-2 SF) told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com
) in preparation of Saturday's fight against Julie Kedzie (16-9 MMA, 0-1 SF).
"Winning a fight over Julie would really say I'm back. I'm hungry again. I was at the top of the top and kind of got knocked back a little bit. There's only one way to get back there, and that's to keep winning fights and keep the fans happy."
Tate vs. Kedzie is a part of the Showtime Extreme-televised preliminary card of the "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" event that takes place at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who beat Tate for the belt in March, meets former champion Sarah Kaufman in the Showtime-televised main event.
The 25-year-old Tate, who turns 26 the day of the fight, hasn't fought since losing her belt to Rousey. The Olympic judo bronze medalist defeated Tate by first-round armbar and dislocated her elbow in the process. The March headliner was arguably the biggest bout in women's MMA history.
But Tate has made a full recovery and said she is excited to show off a polished skill set when she returns to the cage.
"I didn't have to have surgery, I didn't have to sit out for a long time," Tate said. "I think a lot of questions will be answered when I get out there and show everyone just how well I've healed up."
Unlike in her fight with Rousey, where a war of words played out in the media in the months leading up to the fight, Tate says it's nice to not hear any trash talk from her opponent.
"I haven't heard a peep from Julie," she said. "She's really focused on the fight and whatnot. It's kind of refreshing."
But at the same time, Tate realizes the back and forth with Rousey was good for her and women's MMA.
"I kind of missed the interaction," she said. "I kind of liked it with Rhonda. I want to get back to where I'm in more of the limelight."
While Tate said Kaufman is more than capable of beating the undefeated Rousey, she will need a nearly flawless game plan to do so.
"I've never seen Kaufman knock anyone out either with her punches," Tate said. "She body slammed that girl that one time and knocked her out, which was really cool. But I don't see her doing that with Ronda. I think for 25 minutes, Kaufman's game plan is going to be harder to execute because she is going to have to maintain a perfect range where just at the end of her punches Ronda can't get a hold of her but she can still hit her. It's going to be tough.
"I think if Rhonda gets a hold of Kaufman, she just needs one takedown. If she gets it to the ground, she'll find a way to finish the fight with a submission, and I don't think Sarah will be able to fend her off the entire time. I think Ronda will win the fight."
Whether wins by both herself and Rousey would set up a rematch, Tate said she isn't sure. But another shot at the champ is her ultimate goal.
"I think sometimes with the women's division, they really don't know what the heck is going on," said Tate, who had a six-fight win streak prior to her loss to Rousey. "I don't feel like they plan it out as well. I think a lot of it with women's MMA is that it's very fan-based. If fans want to see it, then they'll put it together." http://mmajunkie.com/news/30167/strikef ... ematch.mma