There were questions about Tate’s future after she suffered a unanimous decision loss to Murphy in her flyweight debut earlier this month. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion has lost two of three fights since ending a nearly five-year retirement in 2021, and critics argued the latest defeat was proof of her ceiling.
Tate (19-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has been vocal about her desire to hold UFC gold once more, and she’s remains optimistic there are better days ahead. However, Tate also acknowledges there’s something missing.
“I’m at a very great point in my life,” Tate said on her Sirius XM radio show. “Not like Chapter One. Chapter One was kind of toxic and a lot of turmoil and (fighting) was like my outlet and my identity. It’s none of those things for me anymore, so as I continue to evolve – and life is great. It’s very kush and I have everything that I need. I don’t need to fight. I just want to. I want to do better than I did this time, so I’m not going to give up. But this is a whole new challenge. I just need to get my mindset a little bit more gritty, a little bit more right, a little bit more – ‘I’ve got to have it.’ Not just there to have fun. Like, ‘I’ve got to have it.’ I just don’t feel like I hit the nail on the head with that this time.”
Tate, 35, thinks she has the solutions to a potential lack of grit inside the octagon. She intends to visit a sports psychologist and try to get the mental side of her game right, which in turn should lead to better results on fight night.
“As soon as I get a good sports physiologist and start to unravel or figure out how to channel, I think I’ll have more idea,” Tate said. “I don’t know how long it takes. It might be a really simple fix. The performance ,my physical ability, the shape that I’m in, the way I train, the skillset that I have, is all there. I just have to put it in the right place at the right time.”
The timeline for Tate’s return is not the only unknown about her future. She admits the first cut down to the 125-pound division was a challenge, and the fact the fight was delayed two weeks due to Murphy contracting COVID-19 only made it more difficult.
Because of that, Tate said she’s deliberating whether another drop down in weight will net better results.
“I definitely need to take some time to figure it out,” Tate said. “It was a really long camp, it got draw out two times. I don’t know if I’m going to stay at 125 or just go back to 135 where I can enjoy. The diet, for that long, made me want to blow my brains out. It was terrible. I think I might stay at 135. I don’t know. We’ll see. I need a little time to regroup and see where I go from it.”