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UFC star Miesha Tate says ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ made her ‘miserable’

Miesha Tate (19-8, 11 finishes), is scheduled to finally get her chance to face Lauren Murphy (15-5, nine finishes) after the fight was twice postponed this year. The former women’s bantamweight champion will compete for the first time at flyweight on Saturday, July 16. Ahead of the UFC’s first visit to UBS Arena on Long Island, Tate caught up with Scott Fontana for this week’s Post Fight Interview for some Q&A.

Q: What thoughts first went through your head when you learned Murphy had to withdraw from the original date?

A: I just thought it was the worst news I could possibly receive regarding the fight. I wasn’t sure if that meant I was gonna get a replacement or if I was gonna fight her at a later date. I tried everything that I could to get a replacement but to no avail. So, finally agreed on a later date when her camp proposed July 16. Then we finally said, OK and I just moved my sights set for there. And I was frustrated, but what can you do? At this point, I’m good. I’m in a good place. I feel like it happened for a reason. You can’t be mad because, sometimes, there’s just somebody bigger than you looking out for those better than you do. So that’s where I’m at with it. I’ve just kind of put that trust and faith into divine intervention, and it’s all good. Now we get to fight in New York, which is also great, because I can’t wait to win this fight and enjoy some good New York food. Probably four of my favorite restaurants are in New York, plus my favorite cupcake in the entire world, so this is going to be a real treat. No better place to have a fight and be able to enjoy the aftermath.

Miesha Tate prepares to fight Marion Reneau

Q: At which New York restaurants are you looking to eat?
A: The first place is in Brooklyn; it’s called Cheeseboat, and it’s incredible.

Q: What’s your take on Murphy as an opponent?
A: She is very durable and very gritty. She has a tremendous will. She has a good will to win. She’s fundamentally sound. I don’t think that she’s very creative. I don’t think she is the type of fighter where you’re gonna necessarily see something you’ve never seen before, especially in my situation. But what she does, she does well. She sticks to basics, and basics win fights. So I can’t knock her for that. A lot of fighters get way too far away from those things, and they end up paying the price. I don’t see that being Lauren. I think she’s going to stick with what works, and I think she’s going to do that over and over and over and try to win, not just against me but against anybody, with that sort of a strategy, mentality. But I think everything that she does, I do better. And stylistically, we’re sort of similar. I think I have better wrestling. I have grappled with her before. I trained with her before [on “The Ultimate Fighter”]. She has good grappling, but I don’t think it’s anything that I need to be worried about. I think that my grappling is better. And I also think I’ve continued to make leaps and bounds of improvement in the striking department. So I still think that I’m better there too.

Miesha Tate on Celebrity Big Brother

Q: How do you two get along?
A: We have. Typically, we’ve gotten along before. [She] just kind of irritated me a little bit in this fight lead-up. She did an interview, and I’m not typically somebody to watch interviews of my opponents because I don’t really care. But one of my coaches brought up to me that she had some stomach issues, and that she was saying the delay of the fight was actually perfect. … But the interview kicked off with the interviewer asking her, “So this fight got delayed (because it was supposed to be [May] 14). Do you have any idea why?” And she’s just like, “Well, I heard it’s because Miesha can’t make weight.” And just the way she said it, it didn’t feel like the way a friend, which I assumed we were, [would say]. I felt like she was throwing me under the bus. It didn’t feel like she had my back or was being nice about it at all or understanding. And really, it was me coming off of “Big Brother.” “Celebrity Big Brother” was an emotional whirlwind for me, and I wanted to see my family and my kids. I hadn’t seen them in a month. I felt like I just went through a whole training camp. And we’re human beings; we’re complex. I’m not a robot, and I’m not coming back to make this experience miserable. If I hate doing what I’m doing, I will retire. And I was at a point where I was like, “I am miserable right now because [of] this show” I can’t explain to you, but it took everything out of me. We didn’t see daylight for the entire month that we were in there, doing interviews under bright halogen lights at two or three in the morning. Workout times were inconsistent and very difficult to get them because you never knew when they were going to call you for a competition or even if there was going to be anything that day. So it was just so different than what I was used to. No contact with the outside world. It was very strenuous for me. And anyways, I felt like [Lauren] knew, but I was like, “OK, cool (laughs). Way to make me look good. Thanks. I thought we were cool.” So it was kind of offensive. 

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Q: “Celebrity Big Brother” was not a good experience for you.
A: It was not good. I didn’t like it. The only reason I think it was worth it was because I’m a glutton for punishment, and I won. I won the show. I won a lot of money, and that was great. I can endure a lot, so I was able to handle it. But no, it was not good for me. It didn’t help me in my career with fighting. Just put a little bit of a roadblock. It’s done now. I wouldn’t do it again.

Q: Are you aiming for this to be a springboard to get a title shot at flyweight?
A: Yes, 100 percent. Absolutely. I really think this will be the performance of my career. She’s ranked No. 3. I couldn’t ask for something better than that. I really couldn’t. Lauren Murphy is the perfect fight for me.

Q: Do you recall your first experience watching MMA?
A: I remember watching Randy Couture fight, and I had watched him before but don’t recall a specific memory as I do at the time when I was in college and with all of my friends, and I [had] just stumbled across an MMA program at my school [Central Washington University]. So I had just started training it myself. So I was looking at this through a different lens now that I felt like I was actually part of the sport, in a way, just begun training. But Randy Couture was my favorite fighter, and he retired [in 2006] and I was so sad because I really enjoyed so many things about him: the fact that he was a wrestler and the fact that he carried himself with such poise and was such a nice guy, like the good guy. They say a good guy never wins or always finishes last, but seeing him be the opposite of that was always very inspirational to me.

Q: You can fight any person who ever lived. Who do you pick?
A: The first person that comes to mind is Gina [Carano], but I feel like Ronda and Gina are having their own little weird back-and-forth

Lauren Murphy steps on the scale for the official weigh

Q: Typical walkaround weight between fights? Is it different with the weight class change?
A: I don’t know what it’ll be now, to be honest. I think it’ll be around 144 or 145.

Q: What do you expect to weigh on fight night?
A: I’ll be just north of 135.

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Q: Fight-day routine before competition?
A: No. I always just say a prayer before I fight, that’s really the only ritual that I do. I do like to pick a movie. … I’ll probably pick another movie [before] this fight.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: “Braveheart.”

Q: Favorite outdoor activity?
A: First thing that comes to mind is hiking, although I never find time to do it anymore. I literally haven’t hiked in over a year, but I love when I get the chance to hike. 

Q: Favorite video game?
A: “Metal Gear Solid.”

Q: Who in MMA do you most admire?
A: My coach Robert Follis, but he’s since passed. … [He] was such a great human being as a coach and a mentor.

Q: What’s the coolest technique in combat sports?
A: The Peruvian Necktie is pretty damn cool.

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