Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is expecting to make her flyweight debut at the promotion’s upcoming “Fight Night” card in May, but refuted recent reports that had “Cupcake” signed to a Lauren Murphy showdown for her 125-pound debut.
“I haven’t signed a bout agreement,” Tate told The MMA Hour. “I have not even been presented about agreements, so I don’t know for sure. There’s definitely a chance it’s not Lauren. We’re on schedule to make 126 by May, I probably could have done it a little sooner but May 14 works for me.”
Tate (19-8) ended her retirement last summer by beating the brakes off Marion Reneau. Unfortunately, her follow-up loss to Brazilian bruiser Ketlen Vieira ended any talk of a second run at the 135-pound title and served as motivation to change weight classes.
“I automatically assumed 135 was my weight class because that’s all there ever was,” Tate continued. “[Flyweight] might be my true weight class if I’m been honest. I think that I could have some physical advantages in that weight class that I rarely had at 135. I could only imagine fighting women that are built to be 10 pounds smaller. It could lend itself to really showing my greatness as opposed to fighting these goliaths. I feel like I’ve gotta give it a shot.”
Murphy (15-5) is currently ranked No. 3 and would likely serve as a springboard to a potential showdown against currently flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, who’s all but cleaned out the 125-pound division.
“I know I’m a little bit away from getting a potential title shot, but with [Julianna Pena] being crowned the champion at 135, I would just prefer if we could be champions at the same time together, a Pacific Northwest takeover,” Tate continued. “If I fought Lauren Murphy … it took Valentina four rounds to take her out. I’ve got three, I think it would make a pretty good case, she just fought for the title.”
That however, would require a signed bout agreement.