“Let me get this straight,” began Tate, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I am a fan ofConor McGregor. I think he has an awesome fighting style and he markets himself so uniquely, you can’t discredit that. He does a phenomenal job, everyone loves to watch him fight and that’s myself included. But I think that Dana [White] is 100% right in saying, ‘hey if you’re not going to show up to do your part of the job then there’s going to be consequences.’ You can’t be the main event of one of the biggest cards of the year and not do the necessary media obligations. I disagree with him not showing up to that.”
During the McGregor-UFC saga Dana White has maintained that the reason the featherweight champion was pulled from UFC 200 was his refusal to fulfill media obligations including doing a press tour and filming a commercial for the event. Millions of promotional dollars have gone into the event and the absence of McGregor forced the UFC to pivot to other means to fill in the gaps, which meant turning to other stars on the card. That is the genesis of Tate’s “pieces” comment which she was keen to explain.
“And what I mean by ‘had to pick up some pieces’ was the day that we had to film the commercial – which Dana White told me that they spent like ten million dollars marketing this card, they’re way over budget but you’ve got to spend money to make money kind of a thing – So he’s putting so much money into this and he offered, Conor was going to get to fly over in a private jet and bring up to twenty people with him. I mean, how awesome first of all. And how easy. You bring your whole gym with you pretty much if you want to. You could probably train on the plane. It’s a private plane. Hit mitts on the plane. You know, train right when you land and then you’re in and out. They tried to make it as easy as they could on him but if you are the main event you have to do that. You’ve got to do that stuff.
“Like I was saying, coming back to that, the day that the commercial was supposed to be filmed it was supposed to be myself, Amanda [Nunes], Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo had to film two segments for this commercial and the main event had to film two segments plus one more segment which is the highlight of the commercial which is the main event. Well because the main event didn’t show up we had to, they literally begged me when I showed up that morning, they begged me to come back – by ‘they’ I mean the producers of the commercial – begged me to come back and said ‘can you please come back later today and film this third segment?’ Well that third segment happened to be over my practice time, my pro practice at my gym which I didn’t want to miss but obviously they were hurting so bad and they really were like ‘please’ like basically on their knees, ‘we need this segment of the commercial and we don’t have the main event now so we have to film it with you guys and see how it all comes together.’
“So anyways, I agreed and came back and filmed the third one but that caused me to miss my practice and I had to switch everything around and it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if I had known before but it was the day of and it threw a wrench in the whole mix and was just kind of frustrating to be honest.”
“And it wasn’t just me, it was all of us. But I’m outspoken. I have a freakin’ mouth that I can’t control sometimes and I just say how I really feel. I’m pretty transparent. But I’m not one-sided either. That doesn’t mean I have any hard feelings towards Conor. That doesn’t mean that I hate the guy or that I’m not a fan of his, absolutely not, but I’m going to say how I feel.”
“Sometimes people are like ‘oh you’re complaining,’ well if you were in my shoes and you had to miss your practice to pick up something that Conor didn’t give any notice on that he wasn’t going to be there and then they’re asking you to fill in the blank when it was his job and his responsibility and his contract to do it, I mean yeah am I allowed to be a little bit frustrated? I think so. I think that’s fair. It is what it is. It’s done now, it’s over with, I don’t care, it doesn’t bother me anymore but at that moment in time I’m going to tell people the truth. Freakin’ shoot me I guess for voicing my opinion.”
Miesha Tate fights Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.