Former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has shrugged off the idea of there being anything untoward behind the promotion’s move to waive a six-month drug testing rule ahead of her surprise return to the sport this summer.
The UFC will shun a rule of its anti-doping regulations in order for hugely popular Tate to be able to return to the octagon against Marion Reneau later this year.
The 34-year-old revealed to ESPN in midweek that she would be ending a five-year retirement that started following her back-to-back losses to Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington in 2016.
Following the announcement of her comeback, UFC executive vice president Hunter Campbell admitted to the same outlet that Tate will not have to enter the USADA drug-testing pool for a full six months before contesting a comeback fight, as is standard practice.
The UFC can waive the measure in “exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair” to a fighter.
Campbell pointed out that it had originally been created to avoid combatants exiting the pool, taking PEDs, then putting themselves forward to compete again.
In Tate’s case, however, ‘Cupcake’ took a step back from MMA to raise two young children and never failed across the 12 times she was tested in 2016.
“I think it’s obvious that I didn’t retire so I can go and take drugs and try to come back, right?” Tate asked reporters at the UFC Apex before the weekend.
“That’s why they don’t want you to do that. I went and had kids. I was serious about the retirement. I’ll take as many [tests] as they want. They can test me every single day starting yesterday and I’m completely confident that there’s not gonna be any problems.”
Meanwhile, in a candid interview with SiriusXM, Tate revealed details of her two-year plan and desire to “become a champion again”.
“I just didn’t have it to give in the cage anymore,” she also said of her exploits before she opted to bow out.
But Dana White has his own theories as to why things went south for Tate, put forward by the UFC president at a press conference prior to UFC 260 on Saturday.
“After her last fight, she got her nose fixed,” he said. “I told her not to fix her nose. ‘You wait till after, when you’re done fighting, I’ll fix your nose. We’ll get your nose taken care of, we’ll go to the best guy in LA and get your nose done or whatever,'” White began.
“She did it, and then she fought Amanda Nunes. You’ll see in that fight, Amanda Nunes punches her right in the nose and you saw her fold.
“She went, she had a family. She’s had five years now, I guarantee you her nose is a lot better. So this actually will be interesting to see how she does. I think she’s going to do well.”
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