The interview was conducted 70 minutes after Miesha Tate defeated Zoila Frausto at Strikeforce Challengers. Tate won via an armbar in the second round. At cage side after the event concluded, Michelle Schmidt was able to talk to both women to discuss the match and their new found respect for each other.
Michelle Schmidt: Zoila, how do you feel about your performance tonight?
Zoila Frausto: Obviously, I’m disappointed, but I feel ok.
Michelle Schmidt: Zoila, we’ve seen plenty of people tap out long before you did. How is that arm feeling now? Are you pretty sore?
Zoila Frausto: No, not yet, but probably tomorrow I will (grinning).
Schmidt: Miesha, I know you are happy about tonights win, but how do you feel about your performance overall?
Miesha Tate: The fight was pretty much what I expected and it finished out the way I thought it would, although she was tougher than I expected.
Schmidt: What were you thinking when Zoila caught you in the 2nd round with the head kick?
Miesha Tate: (Grinning) Now I’m pissed! I’m taking you down. You need some ground n pound for that.
Schmidt: Miesha, you said Zoila was tougher than expected. In “tough” how do you mean?
Miesha: Well, she showed me she has high endurance and a high pain threshold. I know very few fighters who could hold out as long as she did in my arm bar. I admire that!
Schmidt: Zoila, were there any surprises tonight? Anything you think you could have done differently in preparation?
Zoila: No, I feel like I trained as well as I could and Miesha got a wrap on my neck which really had me gasping for breath.
Schmidt: Do you feel like that wore you out?
Zoila: Yes, (looking at Miesha and smiling) I think you could hear me gasping for air. It was way uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to stop trying.
Schmidt: Miesha, did you feel any discomfort or fear while Zoila had you in a guillotine?
Miesha: No, actually there was very little pressure. I mean, it’s never comfortable, but the position we were in left me able to breath and focus on what I was doing to her neck rather than worry about mine. I was using the phantom choke and I knew she was feeling it..
Schmidt: Zoila, you were amazing to watch tonight. I never would have expected you to have such high endurance. What were you thinking while Miesha had you in the phantom choke?
Zoila: Breathe. . . . (Miesha n Zoila look at each other and start to laugh ).
Schmidt: Miesha, did you think you had won the fight at that point?
Miesha: Yes, I really thought I had, but she’s tough. I have to give her credit!
Schmidt: Did you expect her to tap or pass out?
Miesha: Well, with the way she was handling it I thought she wasn’t gonna tap. I was thinking, she’s in her home town, she really wants this win and she’s gonna make me take it all the way, but I couldn’t quite get the tension I needed to finish the job.
Schmidt: Miesha, what made you mount when you did?
Miesha: My arms were getting tired and I knew she had to be tired too. I thought it was a good time to try some punches.
Zoila: Yeah, I was trying to throw you off of me.
Miesha: You bucked me and I almost lost it. I was sitting way too high.
Schmidt: There was a lot of hype prior to this fight. Some people said the two of you really don’t like each other while others said it was just media drawing attention to the fight. What are your comments on that?
Zoila: I understand the media, but what I said was the truth. I felt that way at the time.
Miesha: I agree. There can be a lot of hype from media, but really I feel the same. When I said what I did it was because I thought Zoila was being cocky for someone with less experience.
Schmidt: What are your opinions now of each other?
Zoila: I feel OK. I like Miesha.
Miesha: I think Zoila has huge potential. I hope someday we have a 125LB title because I see the makings of a champ.