With the heart of a warrior that saw her emerge victorious from a bout with Carina Damm earlier this month, Tara LaRosa has not waited long to throw herself into yet another contest, this time within the realms of social media.
Joining Joe Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton on Rear Naked Choke Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network, the New Jersey native spoke candidly about a long time dispute with Strikeforce competitor Miesha Tate, which has recently flared up over a war of words on Twitter.
“I finally stood up and said something,” LaRosa said on the show, “because she’s been up in my butt for the past four years: ‘Yo’, fight me, why don’t you fight me? I’ll drop down to 125 (pounds).’ Because she knows I’m not going to… she’s over in New Jersey – in my home state – and now she’s talking (BS) on me. I’m like, ‘are you freaking serious right now?’ And now she’s said a bunch of stuff on Twitter so that’s it, I’ve had it. So I started saying some stuff back.”
Despite previous feuds between the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans almost doubling buy-rate figures and proving that bad-blood grudge matches sell well in the world of MMA, LaRosa was adamant she did not want the Strikeforce women’s welterweight championship contender to benefit from a payday at her expense, regardless of the outcome.
“I don’t want to fight her in public,” LaRosa said. “I don’t want to settle this in public. Nothing’s going to be settled by fighting, you know, we’re not going to just fight it out and be friends. I’m not going to fight someone I don’t like, why would I give you that kind of publicity? It’s (ridiculous).”
The specific cause behind the acrimony for one another shared by the world’s No. 2 (LaRosa) and No. 6 (Tate) female mixed martial artists remains unclear. Insults, threats and taboo language have been liberally thrown around on their Twitter pages. Its personal nature however, left LaRosa reluctant to disclose the finer details for the time being.
“When I don’t like someone, it’s for a damn good reason, a really good frickin’ reason,” she said. “It’s not some catty (BS) like I’m jealous of her success or jealous of her boyfriend; which is corny as hell. It’s extremely personal and I don’t particularly want to air all that. And I don’t think she wants any of that to get aired to the public, either. That’s why she’s kept her mouth shut, (sighs) for the most part,
about what the real behind the scenes deal is.
“The only way I would put the entire story out there is if she pushed me hard enough. If she continues to push my buttons and say (BS) about me…I’m going to tell the entire the story with all the gory details. I don’t think she wants that, because she’s going to look pretty bad. I’m never going to forget what was done and what happened. This is not a ‘work’ and this not to hype a fight.”
Speculating on the reasons for Tate to supposedly make matters as personal as they now stand, LaRosa toyed with the idea of a misplaced sense of admiration as a possible motive.
“It seems like she’s kind of copying me, like with sponsors, with things she’s says, she’s tried wear white, come out to my favorite music, it’s kind of eerie,” said LaRosa. “I never noticed it until a mutual friend of ours brought it to my attention. I also heard that I was her mom’s favorite fighter, which is really nice, but I can imagine the pressure on her to be successful. I think she also tries to copy the Gina Carano blueprint, except Gina is classy and Miesha is trashy.”
As the MMA veteran with a record of 20-2 discussed “Takedown” Tate’s fighting words, it became clear LaRosa was not willing to throw away a long-term career plan for the sake of butting heads with her former training partner from Washington. For any contest to materialize, the circumstances would have to be organic, contributing to LaRosa’s goals of clearing out the 125-pound division.
“If things work out to where I have to fight her – if she starts moving up the ranks or if she’s top five at 125, then yeah (I would fight her), because I’m trying to clean out the division,” LaRosa said. “But she’s saying ‘Come to Strikeforce.’ Here is my point, why would I come to Strikeforce when – one – they don’t have a 125-pound division?
“What are they going to do with me, win, lose or draw, (after) one fight? They can’t promote me any further because I’m not going to go up to 135 so I can’t fight the rest of their girls unless they want to create a 125-pound division, which they’re not going to do. Number two, the UFC just bought Strikeforce. It’s been said that once the Showtime contract is up with Strikeforce they’re going to possibly absorb Strikeforce into the UFC like they did with the WEC. Dana White and the Fertittas, they’re not in favor of women’s MMA. It doesn’t make sense for me.”
With a bout for Tate (13-2) against Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce women’s welterweight championship slated to take place somewhere down the line, LaRosa did not give the Team Alpha Male fighter great odds, and she asserted that Tate had a lot of work to do before she should drop to 125 to meet her.
“If she wants to come down to 125 then I think she’s needs to work up to it, anyway,” LaRosa said. “She’s not No.1 and I personally don’t think she’s going to beat Marloes, I’ll put a hundred bucks on that.”
With the Twitter-war hostilities between LaRosa and Tate addressed, the Philadelphia Fight Factory product elaborated on her victory over Brazil’s Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm by a surprising means of submission, as well as what lies in her future with the Shark Fights promotion based out of Amarillo, Tex.
“I took (the Damm fight) on 10 days’ notice, which gave me about seven days of training,” LaRosa recalled. “I took a chance, which I generally don’t do, and came out with a freakin’ leg submission (laughs). Hello? I never do that. Actually, I tapped Zack Makovsky (training partner and Bellator bantamweight champion) with that move (laughs). He’s so going to kick the crap out of me for calling him out live on TV.
“I’m going to go about my business and keep fighting at 125. Shark Fights wants me to fight again in June and they’re talking about Cat (Albert) Zingano. I’m planning on fighting multiple times for Shark Fights in the future, that’s and I’m going to try and clean out the whole division. That’s what I want to do and what I’ve been focused on for the last couple of years. I’m 33-years-old, I’m getting up there so it’s time to do this. Shark Fights has given me the opportunity to do that so I’m going to go with it.”
It seems there’s a defined line between Tara LaRosa’s personal and professional lives that she would prefer to maintain for now. As far as she’s concerned, its business as usual.