a male fan, especially one who is obsessive about movies, comic books, or science fiction.
I will add to that definition – obsessive about a fighter.
When I started following MMA, it took me some time to learn about MMA outside of the UFC, and when I heard that a promotion called Strikeforce had women fighting, I admit that just like UFC president Dana White, I raised an eye brow. Judge me at will, but the idea made me cringe. Why? Because I’m a guy. Not completely without prejudice. It took a total of 1 fight to change my mind, and make me realize that thinking that MMA isn’t for women is just as chauvinistic and stupid as any other form of this little minded vision.
The fight in question?
Miesha tate Vs. Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce Bantamweight title.
After some work against the fence, Tate takes a knee to the body, then finds herself in a Coenen’s choke. She escapes the choke, gaining side control until the end of the first round.
Early In the second round, Tate had to defend a rear naked choke supported by a solid body triangle and taking some nasty shots from the champion all the way to end of it.
After taking some hard leg kicks to start the third, Miesha took Coenen down. Not able to do much from the full guard, they were stood up. An immediate takedown gave Tate a bit better of a position. At the end of that round, Miesha walks back to her corner seemingly tired.
Round 4 starts with Coenen getting the better of the striking exchanges, which sent tate for another takedown and… into a guiliotine choke. She escapes that and establishes side control. Nice transition to the other side of Coenen gave Miesha the arm triangle choke which she held on to, to win the belt.
I might as well have described Miesha Tate’s career in the above run-down of her first major title win.
Is Miesha Tate the best ever female fighter? No. I can think of at least 3 ladies more deserving of this title. Is Miesha the best striker? The best wrestler? The best grappler? No, no and no.
So why is Miesha my (and so many others’) favorite?
Because Miesha showed that even if you’re not THE best at any specific discipline (and don’t get me wrong – Tate is very skilled in all), Hard work, drive and enormous heart can take you a very long way. How long? How about two world titles in the 2 biggest MMA promotions?
Miesha’s opponents knew a couple of things for sure. It won’t be easy. And you can never count Miesha Tate out, no matter how down she looks. Miesha had been put in horrible submissions, knocked down and came close to getting finished more than a couple of times in fights she ended up winning. Enough skill and tons of heart.
It’s kind of fitting then, that Miesha decided to hang the gloves after a loss to a fighter with the nickname “Rocky”.
For anyone who followed her career, it was apparent that this was coming. Her title loss to current UFC champion Amanda Nunes came off a fight that was not typical of Tate. It became plenty apparent after the first round against Pennington. Miesha did not show that signature drive.
Having a very high cage-IQ, Miesha didn’t wait. She knew (and we heard her say it before UFC 207) that fighting, when your heart isn’t a 100% in it is simply dangerous, and declared it was the end of her MMA career before the fight was even over.
Miesha participated in some “promo” work and did her part with trash-talk, but all indications are that they really were “fight hype” and not much more. In the end of the day, Miesha showed respect and got it back (from most oponents). Hearing her commentary on Fox and other outlets is educating and pleasant and having concluded a very impressive (if not perfect) career, there isn’t another female fighter I like more.
Who’s your favorite female fighter?
Is there anything I failed to mention?
Do you disagree?
Let me know right here.