Former UFC and Strikeforce women’s bantamweight queen Miesha Tate is calling it a career.
Tate announced her decision following a unanimous decision defeat to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.
"I'm announcing my retirement tonight; it's my time," Tate said. “I’ll love this sport forever, but it isn’t my time anymore.”
Tate, who was just two bouts removed from winning 135-pound gold, struggled against Pennington, whom she coached on Season 18 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Pennington nearly finished “Cupcake” with a modified standing guillotine choke in the opening stanza, held her own in grappling exchanges and landed her jab consistently throughout the matchup.
Afterward, Tate admitted that the result of the bout influenced her decision. Pennington, meanwhile, recognized the magnitude of the victory.
“This was a huge fight for me — the biggest fight of my career. She’s a huge name in the sport and a former champion,” Pennington said. “During ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ we developed a friendship, but business is business. I had to go out there and take care of business tonight.”
The 30-year-old Washington native exits the sport with an 18-7 career mark. Her 2012 showdown with Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce helped bring a lot of attention to women’s MMA, and Tate remained one of the sport’s most popular fighters once she transitioned to the UFC.
Tate resumed her rivalry with Rousey in the Octagon but fell to “Rowdy” for a second time at UFC 168. The Xtreme Couture representative then went on a five-fight winning streak, which culminated in a fifth-round submission of Holly Holm at UFC 196 to capture the bantamweight title. Tate lost the belt in her next outing, falling to Amanda Nunes via first-round submission at UFC 200.
Over the course of her career, Tate earned victories over the likes of Holm, Jessica Eye, Sara McMann, Liz Carmouche, Julie Kedzie, Marloes Coenen and Hitomi Akano, to name a few.