As a mixed martial artist, Miesha Tate is a pro at knocking people down. But, as she proved on Sunday, she also has the heart to help others get back up.
The fighter is earning praise for helping carry an injured 6-year-old girl down a rocky hiking trail after the child took a nasty fall.
The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion was hiking Nevada’s Mary Jane Falls on Sunday when she came upon a mother struggling to carry her daughter, Kai, who had broken an arm when she fell.
The girl wouldn’t let anyone but her mother, Amber Ellis, carry her ― not daddy or anyone else, Ellis recalled in an Instagram post after the incident. But that all changed once they ran into Tate, who offered to lend a hand.
“The mother asked her ... daughter ‘would you rather have me or her carry you down,’” Tate later posted on Facebook, “without hesitation (to my surprise) she quickly replied ‘I want HER to carry me.’”
“We had to laugh,” Tate added.
Tate carried the girl for the rest of the descent, about two miles.
Amber Ellis later expressed her family’s gratitude to Tate in a comment on the MMA fighter’s Facebook page.
“Kai is beyond thankful for your help,” she wrote. “She was telling everyone at the hospital all about you, and how she wants to be a fighter, like you, now too; it was the most adorable thing! She definitely looks up to you, and I couldn’t be more proud of the role model she’s chosen!”
Ellis further shared an Instagram video of Kai personally expressing her gratitude to Tate as she sported a heavily bandaged arm.
Tate called Sunday’s rescue “one of the most rewarding days of my athletic career.”
“I also want to make a point that I have been told many times that I am ‘too buff’ or ‘manly’ that I should stop lifting weights, that it’s ‘gross’ and not attractive for a woman,” she shared on Facebook. “I am so happy that I never listened to the limitations others wanted to put on me and I hope that our youth knows that [you] don’t have to conform. That strength and beauty comes from within!”