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Few fighters in the UFC can match Miesha Tate when it comes to skills inside the Octagon, popularity among fans and an ability to create and sustain her own brand.
Tate has been ranked among the top female bantamweights in mixed martial arts for several years, and she can make a case that she’s the second-best fighter in her division. She has lost twice to bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey but has otherwise been unstoppable, scoring victories over Jessica Eye, Sara McMann and Liz Carmouche since April 2014.
Tate, a former bantamweight champion in Strikeforce and Freestyle Cage Fighting, joined the UFC in 2013. Her first bout with the organization was The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale against Cat Zingano, with the winner promised a fight against Rousey for the UFC women’s belt.
Tate controlled most of the first two rounds before a series of knees by Zingano put her down and ended the fight in the third via TKO. Despite losing, however, Tate still got a title shot when Zingano suffered a knee injury that required surgery.
Tate had fought Rousey once before, losing her Strikeforce title in March 2012 when Rousey successfully applied an armbar with 33 seconds left in the first round.
In their second meeting, Tate pushed Rousey to the third round – no other fighter has extended Rousey that far – before losing again via armbar.
Tate, who embraces her “Cupcake” nickname, is a wrestling specialist who won the girls’ state championship while attending Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, Washington. She has developed into a well-rounded mixed martial artist and proved her ability to win in the stand-up game with her unanimous-decision win over Eye at UFC Fight Night Chicago in July 2015. It marked her fourth consecutive win since losing to Rousey.
Tate has developed a sizable fan following, largely due to her fighting style and a strong social media presence. She has more than 380,000 Twitter followers and 473,000 Instagram followers. She has also appeared in ESPN The Magazine’s body issue.
TRAINING: In the morning I train either striking, conditioning or do technical game plan review. In the evening, it’s either live MMA rounds or strength & conditioning
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training fighting when I was 19 because I had wrestled in high school and was looking to take my ambition to the next level. What better way to do that than to get in the cage and fight your heart out?!
What ranks and titles have you held? Former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Women's 135lb Strikeforce Tournament Champion, 2x Freestyle Cage Fighting 135lb champion, 2009 World Team Trials Silver Medalist, 2009 Freestyle Cage Fighting Super Fight Champ, 2008 Fila Worlds Grappling Championships Silver Medalist, 2008 World Team Trials National Grappling Champion, 2005 women's high school Washington state wrestling champ. The Ultimate Fighter season 18 coach. Purple belt in BJJ.
Do you have any heroes? None
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? For me it means I'm one of the best in the world and I'm thankful for the opportunity that the UFC gives to the talented women in MMA
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I attended Central Washington University, no degree
What was your job before you started fighting? I was working at Costco
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? 5-1 as an amateur