Miesha Tate will be in Singapore this weekend for ONE Championship’s big event. She thought there she’d sit down with ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong and discuss a possible role with the Asian MMA promotion.
As it turns out, before Tate could even get on the plane she was agreeing to join ONE as a vice president over the phone. Sityodtong made the announcement Wednesday night on social media. Tate didn’t mind not waiting, she told Sirius XM Fight Nation on Thursday night while she was on a layover in Hong Kong.
“It’ll be a perfect fit,” Tate said. “It’s gonna be an awesome adventure.”
Tate, a women’s mixed martial arts legend and former UFC and Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, said she’ll be moving to Singapore to join ONE in early 2019 and will live there for about two years. Joining her will be her significant other Johnny Nunez, also an MMA fighter, and their newborn daughter. Nunez, Tate said, has signed a fight contract with ONE.
Tate, 32, said she reached out to Sityodtong about a potential job with ONE months ago — long before the company signed former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and traded to get former UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson. A Tate deal with ONE was already in the works before those things came together, she said. Even years ago when she first traveled to Singapore and met Sityodtong, Tate said she had a feeling that there could be more there in the future.
“This is just something that was a calling to me,” she said. “I’m always a passion-first kid of person.”
As far as her role with ONE, Tate said it’ll be as a brand ambassador and, most importantly for her, a color commentator on ONE broadcasts. A more permanent television broadcast gig was something she had been seeking. Any other parts of her job with ONE have still yet to be hammered out, Tate said.
“I know those are the two, really important roles,” Tate said. “But again this was part of the reason why I was going to make this trip over, so that Chatri and I can really sit down and hash it out. I thought we would wait to make the announcement until we kind of had that. But I’m ready for this. I’m not looking backward, I’m looking forward. And whatever it entails, I know that I’m ready for it.”
Tate, who said she plans on remaining a radio host at Sirius while with ONE, said the Asian promotion’s ideals resonate with her. She said she appreciates ONE being more about pure martial arts than the sports entertainment of the UFC and other American companies.
“I’m sort of a purist when it comes to martial arts,” Tate said. “It really appeals to me what ONE is doing, because they have that fanbase that’s again more about the martial art than it is about the crazy, circus act, entertainment aspect that it seems like more of the Western market has adapted. I think it’s gonna be a perfect fit.”
“Cupcake,” who retired from the UFC in 2016, said she was already interesting in joining ONE before knowing how much it would pay. And when Sityodtong hit her with the salary, that essentially sealed the deal.
“I wanted to move to Singapore and be a part of this not knowing how financially beneficial it would be,” Tate said. “But let me tell you that this is definitely an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. When I first reached out, I didn’t imagine it would amount to this amount of profitability. But when he made the offer, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, I can’t pass this opportunity up.’”