Miesha Tate is an MMA legend. No ifs or buts, the former Strikeforce champion has consistently competed at the top level for several years now.
She has faced some of the toughest competition the women’s bantamweight division has had to offer over the years and epitomises the never-say-die attitude that is essential to a fighter’s make-up if they want to be held in this high regard.
Miesha, who went 5-4 in her run in the UFC, gave legendary judoka Ronda Rousey by far the longest fight of her career, with her being the only woman – apart from Holly Holm – to make it out of the first round with the Rowdy one. After two successive defeats started her time in the UFC, she finally made her mark on the organisation with a four-fight win streak, taking out Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai and Sarah McMann.
This run was enough to warrant a title-shot at then-champion Holly Holm, who had rocked the world just prior by knocking out the aforementioned Rousey in one of the greatest shocks in MMA history. Tate took that fight at UFC 196 and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in recent memory, choking out Holm in the final round and winning herself UFC gold in the process.
Tate’s fame has risen exponentially since then, with her becoming one of the more prominent stars in the sport’s modern era. When Tate stepped up to face lethal striker Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 however, things did not go entirely as planned. Tate found herself severely outstruck by the Brazilian, succumbing in the end to a combination of Nunes’ hard strikes and well placed rear-naked choke.
With her belt lost, Tate’s comeback fight took place at last weekend’s monumental UFC 205 card, facing the heavily slept-on Raquel Pennington in a three-round contest. Unfortunately for Miesha the bout did not end well for her and despite a hard-fought performance, she ended up on the receiving end of a crushing second loss in a row.
When UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan handed Tate the mic after the fight had ended, she shocked the world by announcing her immediate retirement from MMA competition, with her stating:
“I’m announcing my retirement you guys. I love you all so much. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. Thank you so much for being here I love this sport so much but it’s not my time anymore it’s the future’s time.
“I had a lot more to give but I just couldn’t pull it out of myself. It’s been a long time, taking a lot of punishment. I still love this sport but this is it for me.”
A true legend of the sport who will be defined by her class, likeability and pure grit when the cage doors closed. Several have already pointed towards a move to a more analytical role in the future for Miesha. Her strong mind for all things MMA would make her a perfect addition to the large numbers of combatants transitioning towards punditry.
On Wednesday the UFC released the latest in their “The Thrill & the Agony” series, with this edition highlighting some memorable in-octagon moments from the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and Yoel Romero.
However, one truly heart-wrenching section showed a post-fight Tate in a pretty emotional state following her loss to Pennington. She is seen repeatedly telling her coaching team – specifically Bryan Caraway – that she is finished and the fire lingered in her before it simply was not there anymore.
“I’m not showing up anymore in here. I don’t care enough. I just don’t have it anymore,” was what Tate said just moments before taking the microphone and announcing her intentions to the world.
Of course, as a fight fan, I would love to see Miesha inside the octagon again but if what she is saying is true, then all we can do is wish her the best in her future endeavours and thank her for what has been a truly entertaining career.
You can watch UFC 205 : The Thrill & the Agony in full below.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena
Complete our survey below to be in with a chance of winning a Pundit Arena jersey!