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Miesha Tate Nude Photos in Latest ESPN Body Issue

First Posted: Jul 08, 2013 01:58 PM EDT

Move over Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, ESPN the magazine has an all-star lineup of beautiful women set to grace the pages of its 2013 ESPN Body issue. Perhaps most notable among them is the newest woman to take the UFC by storm this year: Miesha Tate.

Tate first joined the UFC in February of 2013 after a celebrated run in the women's division of the Strikeforce mixed martial arts league. She notes that despite the popular notion of women fighters as somehow more masculine in nature, they still have beautiful physical forms worthy of admiration.

"One of the biggest common misperceptions about women's mixed martial arts is that we're not feminine. So for me it's important to show that women in this sport are comfortable about their bodies, that we're pretty and carry ourselves as women, and we can also turn it up a notch in the cage," observed Tate.

Tate's photo spread in this year's Body issue has not come without some controversy, however. She has had a long-standing feud with UFC wunderkind Ronda Rousey, who took Tate's Strikeforce title back in 2012. Tate made waves by calling into question Rousey's moral character soon after.

"Any1 else think it's hypocritical 4 Ronda Rousey 2 talk crap about ring girls in playboy but it's totally fine 2 pose 'artistically nude'?" tweeted the UFC fighter last year.

Those verbal barbs seemed to do little to slow Rousey down, however, as she became the first woman to win the title of champion in the UFC. When Tate went up against her rival again, this time in the UFC, she received Rousey's signature armbar submission in the third round.

Still, despite that recent setback Tate is doing better than ever, and certainly looks that way as well. You would think that trying to avoid getting beaten to a pulp in front of millions of viewers would make one immune to such mortal things as "nerves," but apparently that is not the case.

"It was nerve-racking because even though it was a private beach, there's still big houses all around and we had a couple of people trying to walk by the shoot," says Tate. "They kept turning around and walking in the background and our crew kept having to hold up blinders so they wouldn't see me."

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