Miesha Tate, who is currently filming the fall season of the The Ultimate Fighter as a rival coach to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, will get her biggest national magazine exposure in just a few weeks.
Tate has been listed as one of the athletes who will be featured in the annual ESPN The Magazine, ‘Body Issue’ edition.
The issue, one of the magazine’s most popular features, will spotlight 21 athletes from around the sports world, posing for photos that show off their bodies, often with little or no clothing.
The magazine will hit newsstands on July 12.
It has become almost tradition for an MMA fighter to appear in the magazine, with previous appearances by Gina Carano, Jon Jones and Rousey. Rousey, who will meet Tate in a title fight in December, was one of four athletes that was used on one of four different covers last year.
The 26-year-old Tate (13-4) held the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title after a submission win over Marloes Coenen on July 30, 2011, in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Tate lost the title to Rousey at 4:27 of the first round via armbar on March 3, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. That championship evolved into the current UFC title now held by Rousey.
It was partially, if not largely, due to the excitement generated by Rousey and Tate, who are rivals in every sense of the word, both in building up the fight, and the quality of the fight and fan reaction, that convinced Dana White to bring a women’s division into the UFC.
Women’s fights in the UFC took nearly a year to come to fruition due to a contract with Showtime, which broadcasted Strikeforce events, that didn’t allow any Strikeforce contracted fighters to appear on UFC events as long as the two sides had a relationship. When the relationship between Zuffa, which had purchased Strikeforce, and Showtime expired early this year, the company brought over the top women from Strikeforce’s 135-pound division into UFC.
Because of the lingering heat stemming from the first fight, a Rousey vs. Tate fight seemed a natural at some point. UFC announced that the winner of Tate’s fight with Cat Zingano on April 13 in Las Vegas would not only get the next title shot, but also coach opposite Rousey on the show which is currently being filmed in Las Vegas, that debuts on Fox Sports 1 in September.
Tate lost the fight via third-round stoppage while she was ahead on the scorecards. But she ended up getting the coaching position and the title fight when Zingano tore her ACL in training two weeks before filming was to start, and needed reconstructive surgery.
White had made a few references in recent weeks to the chaos that has gone on during the filming, comparing it to the 2006 season with Tito Ortiz coaching against Ken Shamrock, which ended up being the second most successful of the show’s 17 seasons in the ratings.
“It’s going exactly the way you’d expect it to be going,” said White to the press before UFC 161 in Winnipeg. “Bad. I’m dead serious. Miesha and Ronda hate each other. It’s literally crazy drama every day. It’s irritating. I don’t even know if some of the stuff will make TV. It’s bad. These two do not like each other, and their camps do not like each other. And it’s pure f— mayhem every day.”
“Now that we’re halfway through the show, I can say that a lot more interesting things have come up with Miesha than would have with Cat,” said Rousey in the Las Vegas-Review Journal. “So, yes, I think a lot of people were right about the drama aspect being better.”
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