From the minute-long tease the UFC revealed over the weekend to reports relating to rumblings backstage, there’s no question a featured aspect of the Ultimate Fighter 18 will involve the personal animosity between coaches Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. The two talented females have fought in and out of the ring, albeit not physically in the latter instance, since crossing paths in 2012 under the Strikeforce banner. Adding to the issue, Tate stepped in to replace top contender Cat Zingano on the first day of taping without Rousey being informed in order to capture the bantamweight champion’s reaction.
With the tape already in the can, Rousey has a fair understanding of what fans can expect to see when TUF 18 airs in September and isn’t exactly thrilled with the result. Though she is certainly proud of the 135-pound men/women on her team, she’s disappointed the producers’ interest in her rivalry with Tate will likely overshadow some of the athletes’ accomplishments.
“I adore my team. I adore my kids, but they purposely, they kind of go for the drama aspect a little bit by forcing me to be around somebody that you can’t stand all the time and you can’t do anything about it. That’s what they want,” said Rousey to media at UFC on FOX 8 in a conversation captured by MMAFighting. “I don’t like being put in an environment like that. It was time to get home.”
Rousey elaborated on the sentiments earlier today at a press conference promoting the show and her December 28 dance with Tate at UFC 168, explaining, “How I came off personally was not my goal. Miesha’s hair might have looked better. Ask anybody (on my team) and they will say they were completely happy with how I was as a coach.”
TUF 18 is scheduled to debut on September 4 on FOX Sports 1.