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Miesha Tate: Strikeforce Knockout Targets Gina Carano and More

Exclusive interview by Sean Farrell

“I think women should be confident in the ability they have to protect themselves and they should be aware of the potentially dangerous when they walk around every day.” – Miesha Tate

I recently conducted an interview with Miesha Tate, 11-2, for those of you who don’t know her you must.

Miesha Tate is the new face of women’s mixed martial arts in the United States. She currently fights for Strikeforce and also is the current Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She has also competed and won a silver medal in the FILA Grappling Championships.

Tate was even a star before she started MMA, as she wrestled on the boys’ wrestling team while in high school.

In 2005, she won the high school women’s state championship and went on to win nationals at the World Team Trials in the 158lb division. Tate eventually joined an MMA sports club at Central Washington University that was run by her current boyfriend who is also a pro fighter, love of her life, inspiration, and trainer, Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway, 14-5.

Tate has lost only twice in her career, the second fight of her career and a fight taken on short notice against Sarah Kaufman. Since losing to Kaufman, Tate has won five in a row including two wins in the Strikeforce 135 pounds Women’s Tournament, which she won earning her the chance of a lifetime, a title fight with Marloes Coenen, 18-4.

Coenen a Dutch Golden Glory product will defend her Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight belt against Tate on March 5, 2011 at Strikeforce: Feijao vs Henderson. This will be Tate’s first crack at the title in Strikeforce and she easily has the tools to bring the belt back to the United States. Miesha Tate is going to propel women’s mixed martial arts into the stratosphere and its no doubt it’s going to happen.

Tate has the drive and determination to be the best female fighter ever, but she will be remembered for one other thing: Being a true pioneer to women’s mixed martial arts and inspire a generation of females all over the globe, as they will know they can do what the boys do: Fight. and be just as good if not better at doing it.

Did I mention she is an absolute knockout with her looks also? Below is the interview with WMMA’s and Team Alpha Male’s own Miesha Tate.

SF: Do you feel as though the general public has accepted you as a legitimate athlete, or do you still have to deal with the stigma that you’re a pretty face first and a fighter second?

I still feel I have to deal with the Stigma of being a “female” fighter, being a woman seems to trump being a fighter to many people still.

SF: Who is your inspiration that got you into mixed martial arts? And what does it mean to you being a mixed martial arts fighter?

It was my boyfriend, Bryan Caraway. I never knew what MMA was but when I saw him fight for the first time I knew I wanted to be a part of it too.

SF: How would you like to be remembered in MMA when your career is over?

I’d like to remembered as a leader, a barrier breaker and a good role model.

SF: Let’s touch on some of the good you do for the world. What gave you the idea for the women’s rape prevention DVD? My father Kancho John Farrell used to tell me “People should learn two things in life that are just as important as breathing. Those two things are how to swim and how to defend yourself.” Is that the type of approach you took when you and Frank Shamrock did the demonstrations?

Absolutely, I think women should be confident in the ability they have to protect themselves and they should be aware of the potentially dangerous when they walk around every day.

SF: With multiple reality shows and promotions picking up women’s MMA now, where do you see the sport going in the next 5 years?

I want to take my career as far as I can in and outside of MMA, I want to get into some women’s fitness magazines and encourage others to live healthier lives I plan to still be fighting then as well.

SF: Are you going to start using your “cross-over” appeal more to promote the sport or at least yourself much like other fighters have such as Cung Le and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson?

I would if the opportunity presented itself but not for any opportunity it would have to be the right one for fighting is my passion, it would have to be worth the sacrifice and I would definitely still fight after.

SF: Marloes Coenen is who you are getting ready to face for the Strikeforce title. Is this the biggest fight of your career considering it would propel you into the conversation of Megumi Fujii and “Cyborg” as the top female fighters? Or does a Kaufman rematch intrigue you more given it was on short notice?

They both appeal to me but right now it’s Marloes Coenen in the way of the title, so must get through her to accomplish my bigger goal of becoming a world Champ. Kaufman is a personal goal and I’m sure I will have the opportunity to avenge the loss in time.

SF: Given how Carano-“Cyborg” was such a huge draw for women’s MMA, would you consider taking a fight with Carano to further solidify and push women’s MMA seeing how you are the top two faces?

Yes, I would and I think it would be a great draw for Women’s MMA, although, I’d want it at least at a catch weight of 140.

SF: Lastly, I would like to wish you luck on your upcoming title fight. Is there anything you wish to add that I may not have asked?

Thank you! I’d like to Thank God, my teammates at Team Alpha Male my bf/coach Bryan Caraway all my friends/family and my sponsors Raw State, CageHero, Tussle, Cage Candy, Caged Steel, Bad Reputation.

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