The UFC Women's Bantamweight Title: A Visual History

By Ben Duffy Nov 16, 2021
In a few days, Miesha Tate will try to take another step towards reclaiming the UFC bantamweight belt she once held.

Tate, who faces Ketlen Vieira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 198 on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, came back in July from a nearly five-year hiatus, to surprisingly little fanfare and modest expectations. In her return fight at UFC on ESPN 26, “Cupcake” looked as good as ever — if not better — bashing Marion Reneau into a third-round TKO stoppage. With that outstanding performance, the now 35-year-old announced herself as an immediate contender in the division she briefly ruled. Considering that in the UFC, former champions often have an inside track on future title shots, it is conceivable that a win over Vieira this weekend could propel Tate at least to the on-deck circle.

If Tate does manage to win her way back to a title shot, she will find there either an old friend or an old nemesis. The woman who took the title from Tate five years ago, Amanda Nunes, still rules the division with an iron fist, while holding the featherweight title in the other. Swatting away featherweight challengers took up Nunes' entire 2020, but she is set to finally defend the 135-pound belt again next month at UFC 269. The challenger will be Tate’s fellow Washington native and onetime pupil, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 winner Julianna Pena.

Here is the nearly nine-year history of the UFC women’s bantamweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. It tells the story of two of the most dominant fighters the sport has ever seen, ruling the “glamour division” of women’s MMA with an iron fist.

Ben Duffy/ illustration