The 5’6” Miesha Tate, best known for her extensive knowledge of ground-based arts, including wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and submission defense. A former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight champion, Tate is now retired mixed martial artist .
Known for her grapping ability, athleticism and determination, Tate, made her pro debut back in 2007. She’s a pioneer in women’s MMA, competing before the female side of the game got any recognition or respectable pay. Tate had a famous rivalry with Ronda Rousey, was a title holder in Strikeforce and the UFC, headlined UFC 200, and will be remembered for being one of the best and most popular women’s fighters of her era.
A Visual History of Miesha Tate – The Most Beautiful Woman in MMA
Real name: Miesha Theresa Tate
Birthday: August 18, 1986
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
Current residence: Las Vegas
Her nickname “Cupcake”
After a lot of consideration, I wanted to embrace that I’m more than just a wrestler. My old nickname was ‘Takedown.’ That’s what I did every fight and that kind of fit the whole wrestling theme because I wrestled with guys in high school…I just want to have a fun nickname, have a fun mentality again.
Love for MMA fighting
While Tate was attending Central Washington University, she met her longtime boyfriend who encouraged her to attend the mixed martial arts (MMA) club with her. Upon joining, Tate became fascinated with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a submission-based martial art which, like wrestling, is largely performed on the mat.
First MMA fight
Her professional MMA debut came in November 2007 at the one-night HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix tournament. She defeated Jan Finney by decision after four rounds of grueling battle. During the course of the next two seasons, Tate recorded multiple wins in organizations such as CageSport MMA and Freestyle Cage Fighting (FCF). In 2009, she won the FCF Women’s Bantamweight championship, marking her first MMA title and laying the foundation for tremendous success in Strikeforce.
First MMA title
Tate captured the 135-pound FCF Women’s Bantamweight Championship by defeating Liz Carreiro at Freestyle Cage Fighting 30 on April 4, 2009. After being knocked down in the first round, Tate gained control of the fight in the second and submitted Carreiro in the third. She defended the title once, defeating Valerie Coolbaugh by first-round armbar submission at FCF 38 in January 2010.
On June 27, 2008, Tate debuted in Strikeforce. Fighting in the 135-pound bantamweight division, Tate defeated Elaina Maxwell by unanimous decision at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson.
After winning the FCF title in April 2009, she returned to Strikeforce at Strikeforce Challengers: Evangelista vs. Aina on May 15, 2009, where she defeated Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision.
After stepping away to defend her FCF title in January 2010, Tate faced Zoila Gurgel at Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs. Mahe on March 26, 2010. Tate won the fight by armbar submission in the second round.
Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion
While competing in Strikeforce, Tate earned the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight championship and was the 2010 StrikeForce Women’s Bantamweight Tournament winner. Her notoriety grew in 2011 when she became the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion by defeating Marloes Coenen.
Final Strikeforce fights
Her first defense of her 2011 Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight championship was expected to be against Sarah Kaufman; however, Rousey, a new contender in Strikeforce, lobbied for the matchup to take place between herself and Tate to garner more media and fan attention. Rousey subsequently was named Tate’s first challenger, and the fight was highly publicized in the months preceding it. Rousey, after defeating her first four Strikeforce opponents, faced Tate on March 3, 2012, marking the then-rare occasion of women being featured in an MMA card’s main event. Tate lost the bout, televised on Showtime, by submission (armbar) at the end of the first round after resisting the armbar for several minutes, but bounced back in August to defeat Julie Kedzie.
Following Strikeforce’s fold, Tate officially joined the UFC in February 2013. In April 2013, she made her UFC debut, taking on Zingano in The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale, which marked the second women’s MMA matchup in the UFC and produced the coach for The Ultimate Fighter 18. Tate lost to Zingano but later replaced her on The Ultimate Fighter 18 after Zingano sustained an injury.
First UFC title shot
On Dec. 28, 2013, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey met in a rematch of their March 2012 Strikeforce fight at UFC 168 on, with Rousey again defeating Tate via armbar in the third round.
First UFC victories
Tate bounced back in her third UFC fight on April 19, 2014, defeating Liz Carmouche in the co-main event at UFC on FOX: Werdum vs. Browne, marking her first UFC victory.
On Sept. 20, 2014, Tate squared off against Rin Nakai at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson, again winning via unanimous decision for her second UFC victory in four fights.
Her third consecutive UFC win came at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015, when she faced Sara McMann, an Olympic wrestling medalist.
On March 20, 2015, Tate faced Jessica Eye in a bout on July 25, 2015 at UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2, winning via unanimous decision.
On November 14, 2015, Holly Holm defeated Rousey for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. In January 2016, the UFC announced that Tate would be the first title defense for Holm at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. After a back-and-forth four rounds that saw both fighters displaying an advantage, Tate defeated Holm via a technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the fifth round to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion. The win also earned Tate her first Performance of the Night bonus award.
On July 9, 2016, in her first title defense at UFC 200, she lost her title. In this fight, Amanda Nunes defeated Tate via a rear-naked choke hold three minutes into the first round to become the new Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
At UFC 205 on November 12, 2016, Tate fought Raquel Pennington. After losing to Pennington via unanimous decision, Tate announced her retirement from mixed martial arts.
It’s not my time right now, I’ve been doing this for over a decade. Thank you so much for being here, I love this sport forever but it’s not my time anymore.
She received a loud ovation from the crowd at Madison Square Garden amidst her departure.