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The Miesha Tate Life Story: A look back at her MMA journey so far

LockerRoom Team
27 May 2021

For Meisha Tate, the first encounter with Combat Sports came when she was attending Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, Washington. A tomboy during her youth, she always socialized with the boys in her neighborhood, she took up amateur wrestling in her high school and went on to win the State Championship in 2005. Tate began her Mixed Martial Arts career in 2007.

How her MMA journey started 

Born in Tacoma, Washington, Tate made her mixed martial arts pro debut in November 2007 at the HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix and then went on to fight in several small organizations. Tate defeated her opponent in the first match but then was knocked out later in the night by the tournament champion Kaitlin Young.

The young Tate then went on to debut in Strikeforce. Strikeforce televised bouts on popular networks like Showtime and CBS which helped her to gain some attention. 

She won her first MMA title on April 4, 2009, when she defeated Liz Carreiro at Freestyle Cage Fighting to become the 135-pound Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Champion. After her title win, Tate returned to Strikeforce to face Sarah Kaufman. However, Kaufman defeated Tate via a unanimous decision. This was the first time that Sarah Kaufman had gone to a decision as well. 

Winning Strikeforce Title 

Later in January 2010, Tate defended her FCF title against Valerie Coolbaugh and won by a first-round armbar submission at FCF38. Tate followed up her winning streak further when she returned back to Strikeforce and won 3 back to back fights out of which, her win in the last fight made her the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Tournament Champion.

Tate was then scheduled to challenge Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship. The fight took place on July 30, 2011, with Tate defeating Coenen via submission to become the new champion. Coenen had never been submitted in a mixed martial arts bout prior to this.

Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey making history 

Tate’s only title defense in Strikeforce happened on March 3, 2012, against Ronda Rousey. This was a historic event as this was the first time women were placed in the main event of an MMA card. The bout was highly publicized with the two engaging in a variety of trash talk. Tate lost the championship after Rousey forced her to submit after catching Tate with an armbar at the end of the first round. Tate had resisted the armbar for several moments before submitting defeat.

Tate’s final bout in Strikeforce took place on August 18, 2012, at Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kaufman where she faces Julie Kedzie. Tate won the fight by submitting Kedzie courtesy of an armbar in the third round.

Miesha Tate in UFC 

Strikeforce was purchased by UFC owner Zuffa LLC in 2011, the promotion was dissolved after its final show Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine on January 12, 2013, and the remaining fighter contracts were brought into the UFC roster. Rousey became the inaugural UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion as both promotions were owned by the same company.

Tate joined UFC in February 2013 and made her UFC debut on April 13 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale where she faced Cat Zingano with the winner getting a title shot against Rousey. Tate won the first two rounds but eventually lost in the final round by TKO. Even though Tate lost the bout, she got the opportunity to face Rousey for the title as Zingano had to withdraw due to a knee injury that required surgery.

The title bout between Tate and Rousey took place on December 28, 2013, at UFC 168. However, the rematch produced the same result as their first encounter with Rousey submitting Tate thanks to an armbar in the third round.

Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm 

Tate then had to wait three more years for her next title shot. She faced Holly Holm for the Bantamweight Championship at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. Holm became the UFC Bantamweight Champion after defeating Rousey on November 15, 2015, and the bout against Tate was her first title defense. The bout ended with Tate realizing her long-term goal of becoming the Bantamweight Champion. Tate defeated Holm via technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the fifth round and became the new UFC Bantamweight Champion.

Tate retired from MMA after her final bout on November 12, 2016, against Raquel Pennington which she lost via unanimous decision. Later on November 7, 2018, it was announced that Tate had joined ONE Championship as a Vice President.

UFC Return

It’s been over 4 years after her retirement and now Tate has decided to make a come back to the sport. It was announced on March 24, 2021, that Tate will be returning to MMA to compete against Marion Reneau on July 17, 2021, at UFC Fight Night 191. Tate has signed a six-fight contract with UFC.

In her return fight, Tate managed to secure a stoppage win over Reneau and made it clear that she is going for the UFC title belt. 

Miesha Tate Instagram

Miesha Tate is on Instagram as @mieshatate. She is active on the social media platform and posts a string of stories and posts.

Miesha Tate Husband

Miesha Tate is married to fellow MMA Fighter Johnny Nunez. Nunez is a lightweight fighter who started his MMA career back in 2010.

Tate and Nunez made their relationship public back in January 2018 and in 2018 itself, Tate gave birth to their first child, Amaia Nevaeh Nuñez. The couple had their second child in 2020.

Nunez currently holds a professional MMA record of 7-2 and made his professional debut back in 2012 at Crown Boxing. He then went on to fight in Omega MMA, WSOF, and Bellator before joining ONE Championship where he fought back in 2019.

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