Athletes & Celebrities

Everything You Need to Know About Holly Holm & Meisha Tate's UFC 196 Prep

The MMA fighters discuss their training, the sport, and how they are preparing to face each other in the Octagon.

Everything You Need to Know About Holly Holm & Meisha Tate's UFC 196 Prep
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The UFC 196 is quickly approaching. This is where Holly Holm is set to defend her Bantamweight champion title against seasoned veteran Miesha Tate. Holm’s fame skyrocketed after she defeated former titleholder Ronda Rousey in November. We caught up with Holm and Tate atop the Empire State Building in New York during a recent press day to talk to about how they're training for when they meet in the the Octagon on March 5th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

MF Hers: Holly, what has it been like for you after taking down such a big name like Ronda Rousey, do you feel any pressure to keep that momentum going?

HH: Yeah, I think a lot of people are curious about what I’m going to do next. So, there is a lot of pressure but I’d rather be in this position than the other. (Read our Exclusive Q&A with Holm after her win against Rousey.)

MF Hers: Going into this fight, is your confidence level higher than it was going into the match with Ronda because Miesha hasn’t been able to beat her and you have?

HH: I think the fighting style is different and there’s the confidence I’ve gained with the victory over Ronda, but I had confidence that I could do it going into it or else I wouldn’t have been able to succeed with that in the first place. So there’s a confidence I have for this fight, but I’m definitely not going to overlook anything. She’s going to be a completely different fight so I’m really not comparing the two.

MF Hers: Miesha, were you watching the Holm/Rousey fight? What did you think about Holm's victory?

MT: I was shocked and ecstatic. It’s not that I thought Holly couldn’t beat Ronda. I just thought, in 25 minutes if Ronda got one take-down, it was going to be Ronda’s world. She’s proven that time and time again. I was just so impressed with the way that Holly was able to keep her away and at bay and really use that striking advantage that she had to her advantage so well. I was really excited to see it all go down the way that it did. I was rooting for Holly and I was really jumping for joy and I think she’s made an excellent champion so far and I’m proud of her.

MF Hers: Were you surprised you got a shot at the title before the rematch between Rousey and Holm?

MT: I was very surprised when I got that. When the turn of events first happened and Holly knocked out Ronda, my immediate thought was, ‘I’m next, how can I not be next? Ronda’s going to be on medical suspension, she’s probably going to be scared a little bit, she’s going to have to mentally prepare herself for that, and she had movies to film. She already made that announcement before so she’s going to be too busy and going to be on suspension. I’ve got to be next!' The UFC was really quick to shut me down and say, 'No you’re not next. We’re definitely going to put this [Holm/Rousey] fight on in July so kind of just pipe down and don’t get too excited.' Then it seemed like a change of heart. I think that Ronda realized she had a little too much on her plate to be ready to come back. I think she said she couldn’t even bite into an apple until like June. It wouldn’t even be fair [for the UFC] her to ask her to [fight in July]. They kind of came back to me and were like, 'Just make sure you’re staying ready!' and said, 'Okay, that's all I need to hear.' They called me and confirmed it and I was said, 'I'll be there.'

MF Hers: How are you going to prevent that same outcome from happening in your match?

MT: I think I’m a much more strategic fighter in the sense that I’ve been battle tested. I have much more time inside the Octagon. I’m not so…desperate to get a takedown. I think I can hang with anyone in any department. I think I’m one of the best grapplers in the division. I think I have some of the best wrestling and I can take a punch, give a punch, and I think I hit really hard. I can be dangerous for anyone anywhere and if anyone is underestimating me in any category of MMA it could be a big mistake.