• Miesha Tate is set to return to the UFC after retiring in 2016
  • Tate says that the timing is right for her return to competition
  • Tate says she would be interested in a third fight with Ronda Rousey

This past March, the announcement of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate’s return to the Octagon dominated headlines in the mixed martial arts world.

Tate, who is also a former Strikeforce champion and widely recognized as one of the pioneers of women’s MMA in the modern era, retired from the sport in 2016,and has since worked as a top executive at ONE Championship.

The promotion’s chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, pointed out that Tate will always be welcome back in the company once she decides to hang her four-ounce gloves up for good.

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Tate’s return to MMA came as quite a surprise to many, especially since she appeared to have lost a bit of her edge towards the latter part of her career.

Now, Tate is back, and she’s looking to make another run at the UFC women’s bantamweight championship, currently held by Amanda Nunes who’s considered the best female MMA fighter today.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Tate spoke about her decision to return to MMA, saying that she felt the timing was perfect.

“I just feel like it's the right time,” Tate said. “The pandemic kind of brought everything full circle for me, and made me slow down and appreciate the little things that are important like family, time, and dreams. When I really sat down and thought about all of that, and what I really want out of life, it was pretty clear to me that I wanted to compete again.”

The difference now, Tate added, is that for her, competing is more of a want rather than a need.

“With myself, when I retired, I answered a lot of questions about who Miesha Tate is besides just being a fighter. Now I have clarity that I didn't have before and reassurance. I'm just going back to fighting because I really want to, not because I feel like I have to,” she stated.

With Tate making a comeback after nearly five years of retirement, people have brought up the possibility of her biggest rival, Ronda Rousey, also making a return to the UFC.

Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey
Miesha Tate (left) fights Ronda Rousey during a UFC women's bantamweight championship bout in Las Vegas. Reuters/Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

Rousey was dominant as the UFC women’s bantamweight titleholder from 2013 to 2015 and was at one point the biggest star in the promotion.

Like Tate, Rousey also last entered the Octagon in 2016.

After her run in the UFC, Rousey had an impressive one-year stint with WWE, where she captured the Raw Women’s Championship.

If Tate can be successful in her second run with the UFC, it’s highly possible that Rousey could be motivated to try her luck inside the cage as well.

For Tate, a third meeting with Rousey is something that she’s very interested in.

“If my return happens to spark interest in Ronda [Rousey] to return, then of course, I would love one more crack at her,” Tate admitted.

Tate will be facing Marion Reneau on July 17th.

READ ALSO: UFC Return Of Women's MMA Pioneer Could End Up Hurting Her Legacy

ONE Championship, on the other hand, will be heading to US TV screens for ONE on TNT I, featuring a massive fight card bannered by a flyweight world title contest between division kingpin Adriano Moraes and former longtime UFC champion Demetrious Johnson.

Plus, ex-UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez tries to move one step closer to a title shot when he faces former top contender Iuri Lapicus.

Catch ONE on TNT I on April 7th at 8:30 PM.