Miesha Tate famously won her women’s bantamweight title by defeating Holly Holm at UFC 196 and recently spoke about her former opponent’s chances in a matchup with the fearsome Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino.
UFC 196 was one of the more memorable MMA events in recent times for a myriad of reasons. Of course, the night saw the emergence of Nate Diaz as a bonafide, A-list superstar in the sport as he shocked virtually everybody who tuned in by submitting the featherweight champion of the world, Conor McGregor in second-round of their main-event showdown.
And while the vast majority of the attention was fixated on that truly stunning upset in the top-billed fight, Miesha Tate managed to pull off one of the greatest last-ditch wins of all-time by choking the women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm unconscious in the fifth round of their co-main event fixture, a win that saw her finally reach the pinnacle of the sport after what seemed like an eternity of living in the shadow of Ronda Rousey.
After falling behind on the judge’s scorecards following four rounds of action, Miesha knew she needed to get the finish against the highly-technical kickboxer Holm, and in understanding that knocking her opponent out was pretty much as unrealistic a proposition as any, fixated herself on taking the Jackson-Wink product to the ground no matter how much punishment she took in doing so.
Of course, she succeeded when it counted before eventually taking the back of ‘the Preacher’s Daughter’. Against all odds and despite Holly’s struggles, the rear-naked choke was sunk in and with that, Tate had her defining moment and proved her mettle beyond any doubt.
With Holm now scheduled to take on the seemingly unbeatable Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino at UFC 219, Tate spoke to MMA Tonight on SiriusXM about her chances at getting the upset win, and despite the dominance the Brazilian has been able to sustain over the last decade, Miesha does appear to have some confidence in Holly’s ability to get the job done.
“Of anybody that I can think to fight Cyborg to right now, that has the best chance, I honestly, truly believe that it’s Holly.
“The reason I say that is, if Cyborg cannot get ahold of Holly, if she recklessly chases her down – similar to how Ronda did, not using the correct angles – if she follows her like a missile – which she does in every fight I’ve ever seen before. That’s how she hunts girls down because she can. With Holly, that’s not a good idea. She can cut through those angles. She’s an amazing counter striker and if she lands that head kick, I think she can put anybody away. So stylistically, this makes for a really, really interesting fight.
“If Cyborg gets ahold of her and throws her down to the ground, obviously Holly’s in trouble. She’s in big trouble. But I can truly attest to how amazing Holly’s footwork is and just how difficult she is to get ahold of, how hard it is to do that. You really have to throw everything to the wayside just to try to grab her. I think I got two takedowns on her in our five rounds and I’m smaller.
“I think I’m a little speedier than Cyborg is even. Cyborg’s really, really strong but she’s not necessarily the fastest woman in the world. She doesn’t tend to shoot a lot out in the open so I think to press Holly against the cage or to overwhelm Holly is going to be a difficult task, I really do.”
.@MieshaTate tells @RJcliffordMMA & @OfficialAJHawk that Holly Holm right now has the best chance out of anyone in women's #MMA to beat Cris Cyborg, that Cyborg's usual strategy needs to be adjusted for this fight, & that if Holm connects with the right leg kick she'll get the W. pic.twitter.com/Ti2so9BwbQ
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) November 22, 2017
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena