Miesha Tate (file photo) submitted Marloes Coenen at "Fedor vs. Hendo." | Photo: Sherdog.com
Miesha Tate thought she’d stop Marloes Coenen with strikes.
She was more than happy, however, to submit Coenen to win the Strikeforce 135-pound women’s title.
“I wanted to submit her because I knew it would make the biggest statement,” Tate said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “That’s what I’m out here to do, is just kind of make a statement. I wanted to go out there and beat her at what’s considered her strength. She’s won most of her fights via submission and had yet to be submitted, so that was definitely on my radar.”
Tate tapped Coenen with an arm-triangle choke 3:03 into the fourth round of their July 30 matchup. Her plan was to strike with Coenen to lure her into overcommitting, thus setting up a takedown.
“One way or another, get the takedown,” Tate said. “Control the ground position until I saw an opportunity to capitalize either with striking or with a submission, which is exactly what I did. Overall, I was pretty happy, but I went into that fight with a lot on my plate. It was more of a moral victory for me than anything to really triumph through hard times and still come out the champion.”
Tate declined to elaborate on what issues were troubling her, but she did say that for an entire month prior to the fight, she could neither spar nor grapple. Then during the fight her knee popped while in side control, limiting her offensive options.
“I really had to dig deep after that second round and be like, ‘Just forget about it. Put it out of your mind. You’re fine. You can do this,’” Tate said. “I had to just resort more to what I was efficient at. It didn’t, I feel, make for the most exciting fight, but I can promise that when I fight Sarah Kaufman, you guys are going to see more. I will be more ready.”
Tate might have wanted to be more entertaining, but she still took the title with a decisive finish. She has trouble putting words to her elation.
“It’s so hard to describe because it’s just such an overwhelming emotion,” Tate explained. “It’s such an overwhelming feeling of success and joy and adrenaline and pretty much every good feeling that you could ever have in your life all jammed into a couple of seconds of realization. It’s just an extraordinary feeling.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 20:48).