Miesha Tate wasn’t surprised when Valentina Shevchenko called her out after defeating Taila Santos at UFC 275.
Last Saturday, many expected Shevchenko to dominate Santos and cruise to another title defense, but that was not the case. Instead, Santos nearly beat Shevchenko and had a ton of success, but ultimately dropped the split decision. For Tate, who’s dropping to flyweight to fight Lauren Murphy at UFC 276 on July 2, she says she knew there was a clear path to beat Shevchenko.
Taila Santos Ruined Miesha Tate’s Surprise
“The worst part is I already knew this,” Tate said Monday on The MMA Hour. “Now, the rest of the world knows it. I already believe this. I didn’t want Valentina to look any less indestructible. I wanted her to stay where everybody thought she was so unbeatable, because I already knew I could do that.”
Since the fight, many have thought an immediate rematch might be next but Tate doesn’t think that will happen. Instead, she is confident that if she defeats Murphy on July 2, she will get the title shot due to Shevchenko already hinting at wanting to fight her.
“I don’t think so, because sadly enough, I think it’s just that Taila is not a big enough name,” Tate said. “And that’s unfortunate to say. I do not mean that disrespectfully whatsoever. I’m a huge fan of hers, especially after that performance. I thought she was fantastic. However, I just don’t think the UFC is going to do an immediate – how often do they do immediate rematches for contenders? Almost never. Now, if Taila had won, I absolutely think a rematch would be happening. But I think it’s largely going to be up to Valentina, and she’s already mentioned my name.”
Will Valentina Shevchenko Fight Miesha Tate?
Ultimately, Tate still needs to get past Murphy, but she says she believes she’s the uncrowned champ and is excited to eventually share the Octagon with Shevchenko.
“I know that she wants to fight me – it’s no secret,” she said. “I feel like everybody wants to fight me. I’m the uncrowned queen. I’ve got the target on my back almost as big as any champion. Everybody wants to take out the ‘Cupcake.’ But we’re going to get it done on July 2, and I think Valentina and I will lock horns. That’s the plan.”