Rivalries: Miesha Tate

By Brian Knapp Nov 18, 2021

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The Miesha Tate comeback story inspires plenty of intrigue within the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight division, but for now, there are more questions than answers.

Tate will meet Nova Uniao’s Ketlen Vieira in the UFC Fight Night 198 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where she hopes to improve to 2-0 since ending her four-year retirement. The 35-year-old Tacoma, Washington, native enters the Octagon having lost twice in her previous three appearances. Tate last competed on July 17, when she put away Marion Reneau with punches in the third round of their UFC on ESPN 26 pairing—her first outing since November 2016.

As Tate inches closer to her five-round battle with Vieira, a look at some of the rivalries that have helped shape her career to this point:

Marloes Coenen

Tate submitted the Golden Glory star with an arm-triangle choke and captured the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight championship in the fourth round of their Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Henderson” co-main event on July 30, 2011 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The competitive clash came to a dramatic conclusion 3:03 into Round 4. Tate controlled vast stretches of the encounter with takedowns, top control and sporadic ground-and-pound, as she exposed the glaring vulnerability in in the Dutchwoman’s game. She scored with takedowns in Rounds 1, 3 and 4 and avoided prolonged danger in the second. In that round, Coenen transitioned to Tate’s back in a scramble, cinched a body lock and searched for a rear-naked choke for more than three minutes. Those attempts failed, breathing new life and renewed belief into the challenger. In the fourth round, Tate landed a takedown, defended a guillotine choke and passed to side mount. She glided seamlessly to the choke, cleared her legs and tightened her grip on victory. Coenen tried to free herself, but her efforts were in vain and she reluctantly tapped out.

Ronda Rousey

Rousey retained her Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight crown in an emotionally charged UFC 168 co-headliner, as she submitted Tate with a third-round armbar on Dec. 28, 2013 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The first woman ever to escape the opening round with the champion, Tate conceded defeat 58 seconds into Round 3. Rousey scored with throws in all three rounds and assaulted her rival with punches and elbows on the mat. She mounted Tate in Round 2, where she made her first pass at an armbar. Tate dodged the bullet and also escaped the inverted triangle that followed. However, her efforts only seemed to prolong the inevitable. In the third round, Tate countered a takedown and settled into top position. Rousey wasted no time, went to work from the bottom, isolated the challenger’s left arm and forced the tapout. When paired with her March 2012 submission of Tate under the Strikeforce banner, also via armbar, Rousey closed the door on their rivalry with a 2-0 advantage in their head-to-head series.

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Holly Holm

Tate put “The Preacher’s Daughter” to sleep with a rear-naked choke, as she laid claim to the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight title in the fifth round of their UFC 196 co-feature on March 5, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Holm lost consciousness 3:30 into Round 5, beaten for the first time in her professional MMA career. Tate nearly finished it in the second round, where she secured a takedown inside the first minute and smashed the champion with elbows, punches, hammerfists and forearm strikes before advancing to the back. She pursued the rear-naked choke, but Holm refused her advances and escaped. Tate spent Rounds 1, 2 and 4 trapped on the feet, and the results were predictable. Holm utilized side kicks to the body, oblique kicks to the thigh, stinging punching combinations and surgical counters. It was not enough. Tate hit a duck-under takedown in the fifth round and wheeled to the back while Holm scrambled to her feet. She sank the choke with Holm standing and quickly tightened her squeeze. In a final act of desperation, Holm tried and failed to buck off the challenger but only slipped deeper into trouble. Soon after, she lay unconscious and the UFC had a new champion.

Amanda Nunes

Her brilliance was blinding. Nunes became the fourth women’s bantamweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history, as she shredded Tate with punches and then submitted her with a first-round rear-naked choke in the UFC 200 main event on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tate tapped to the choke 3:16 into Round 1, her reign at the top over after four short months. Once Nunes trapped “Cupcake” on the feet, the fight was essentially over. She sent a series of straight punches crashing into Tate’s face, blood pouring from what appeared to be a broken nose. The Xtreme Couture rep retreated to the cage but found no refuge there, as Nunes continued the onslaught until Tate collapsed. The Brazilian then pounced with punches, slid to the back and cinched the choke. Nunes connected with 40 significant strikes while absorbing only three in return. It was a rout in every sense of the word. Advertisement
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