By Roy Mabasa
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate is rooting for Filipino boxing legend and sports icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao when the latter takes on undefeated Super Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman on July 20 (July 21 in Manila) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I’m going for Manny, always. I’m a friend of his. I’m always rooting for Manny,” Tate told the Manila Bulletin in an interview at a tech event in Hong Kong last week.
Tate, who left UFC to become the vice president of Singapore-based One Championship promotion, has all praises for the Filipino senator who she described as a “great inspiration.”
“He’s somebody that represents the sports well. He a great person, he’s a good character and a great fit,” said Tate who was promoting the advocacies and innovations of One Championship at the recently-concluded Rise Conference 2019, Asia’s biggest tech meet, in Hong Kong.
Widely known for her legendary feud with former UFC champion Ronda Rousey, Tate left the UFC to find where values matter most than trash talking.
The 32-year-old former mixed martial arts champion said: “I never fit in that role that’s why I never was a golden girl and was never number one (in the UFC).”
She stressed that she was now more happy being with her new organization that truly shared her vision and moral values.
“That I was raised with integrity, humility, honor, courage. These are all the things that my mom told me – how to be a good person. I carried those values with me in my entire life and I’m happy that it’s not just appreciated but actually celebrated. That’s what we want in our athlete,” she said.
In 2015, Tate was among the few athletes who openly defended Pacquiao’s decision to fight Floyd Mayweather despite an existing shoulder injury.
In a media interview shortly after the so-called “Fight of the Century” between Mayweather and Pacquaio, Tate theorized that the Filipino boxing legend felt “obligated” to fight and perform all his best “regardless of the injuries.”
“I know there was a lot of pressure on Manny to do that.”. “Everyone was anticipating it. He had his whole country here behind him, and even in America. A lot of people, including myself, were rooting for him in that fight,” she said.