A rose by any other name Jennifer Tate is a very talented MMA and Muay Thai fighter. She may not be a name the casual fan knows, but she should be and will be. Hardcore MMA fans know Jennifer, and know she is as good as any of the women in the sport. She can win a fight on her feet, and she can win a fight on the ground. So please read this interview and get to know a woman you will surely hear more about as the women in this sport get more and more coverage.
Q: First, Jennifer, thanks for doing this. I greatly appreciate you taking the time. Can you start out by just telling a little about yourself, family, where you are from, where you train, things like that.
A: Hello, my full name is Jennifer Rose Tate. I’m a proud parent of my 8 year old son Richard Washington Tate. I grew up in Lodi, California, but now live in Stockton. I train my jiu-jitsu in Lodi at the Gracie Sports Center, a new school the Diaz Brothers opened up last year. I also train my stand-up and MMA at Cen-Cal Combat in Stockton and boxing with my boxing coach Richard Perez.
Q: Before getting into MMA, were you an especially athletic person. Play any sports or anything?
A: I didn’t play a lot of sports growing up. I took TKD when I was 13 and got a Black Belt. Played around with Escrime for about a year, but nothing serious.
Q: What got you interested in training?
A: My uncle Jim said he found a gym where you get to fight hard, not like a Karate school or anything and it sounded good.
Q: How long were you training before you decided to go ahead and fight, and what made you decide to fight?
A: I trained for about a month and a half before my first fight. It was a toughman contest in Modesto. Did toughman’s for a while, then USA Boxing, then went to MMA
Q: You made your pro debut beating a very good fighter, Tonya Evinger, in June 2006, winning by triangle. What do you remember about that fight?
A: What I remember about my fight with Tonya is that she looked pretty big and hit pretty hard, but I had trained very hard for that fight. It was fun.
Q: For those who are not familiar, can you give your record.
A: My pro MMA record is 5-1, Pro Muay Thai record is 2-0. I did amateur for a while and got like 20 or so fights. Won the Golden Gloves Tournament for my area 2 years in a row.
Q: Which fight so far has meant the most to you personally, or was your favorite?
A: My favorite fight!!!! They were all so much fun. My last fight was a Muay Thai fight in Thailand. I really liked that one.
Q: Is there one woman you would most like to fight at some point?
A: Who would I like to fight most? All of them!!!!
Q: What do you consider your biggest strength, and what is one thing you are working to improve?
A: I think I’m a pretty well rounded fighter, of course there’s always room for improvement in all areas.
Q: Is fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: My family has always supported everything I do. They think it’s great that I’m a fighter.
Q: Are you happy the women are getting five minute rounds now?
A: It doesn’t really matter to me either way if women fight 3 or 5 minute rounds.
Q: As a woman, what did it mean to you for Gina and Cyborg to Main Event a big televised card?
A: Watching Gina and Chris headline a big card was awesome.
Q: Do you have any personal favorite fighters or any you enjoy watching?
A: I really enjoy watching myself fight. Manny Pacquaio, BJ Penn, The Diaz Brothers, and women’s fights are always fun to watch.
Q: In your opinion who are the top 5 female fighters pound for pound?
A: I think the top women’s fighters are myself of course, Megumi, Tara, and Cyborg.
Q: Play matchmaker. If you can make any fight you want to see, what is the fight?
A: Who do I want to see fight? Me at 125lbs.
Q: Is there anyone you train with, who maybe the casual fan has not heard of, that you think may be a fighter people should get to know?
A: Any upcoming fighters I train with? Marissa Paradiso is this 15 year old girl I train with. She is very tough. I can see her going places in a couple years.
Q: Are there any misconceptions about women who fight, or things you wish people knew?
A: Misconceptions…Hmmm, I DON’T FIGHT BECAUSE I AM ANGRY!!!
Q: Anytime you watch a show, and there is a women’s fight on it, the women’s fight usually ends up being the best fight on the show. Why do you think that is?
A: Women’s fights are always great because we are women, we naturally have a higher pain tolerance than men and we’re smarter. Of course the fights are going to be better than the men’s fights.
Q: Do you think women fighters are being taken more serious now than a few years ago.
A: Yes, I think that Gina paved the way for female fighters to be taken more seriously.
Q: Any long term goals for your career?
A: Long term career goals? Make a million dollars!
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Outside of training I like to hang out with my family, take my son places. We love doing stuff like ride dirt bikes, go caving, rock climbing, sky diving, camping, anything fun.
Q: Describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Tate.
A: A typical day in my life, I get up, drink a cup of coffee, feed my son and get him ready for school, and take him to school. Go for a run, do lots of cardio in the morning and train with my boxing coach. Then it’s off to work, I own two businesses, so I only work a few hours in the mornings. Pick up my sons at 2:30PM and help him with his homework and we hang out and relax. Then at 5:30PM, I go to Cen-Cal to work MMA, after that I shoot to Lodi for BJJ. If I’m training for a fight, I’ll go back to the gym for a run at night. Home and sleep, and oh yea, I eat a lot throughout the day too.
Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as fighting or anything?
A: 2010 I already have a few fights lined up. I can’t wait.
**Jenn’s next fight will be January 30th in the 8-woman tournament at FCF 39: Ladies Night
***You can read more from Jason Adams’ blog, “Promoting Real Women – A blog to promote and show respect to women in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, powerlifting, and MMA” at http://www.promotingwomen.blogspot.com