Women’s bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington scored the biggest victory of her career as she upset No. 1-ranked Miesha Tate in the UFC 205 main card opener. But it was what happened after the fight that was the biggest shocker, when Tate announced her retirement.
“I’ve been doing this for over decade,” the former UFC and Strikeforce women’s champion said. “I’ll love this sport forever, but this is it for me.”
Tate, 30, a nine-year veteran of the sport, retires with a record of 18-7.
Pennington’s unanimous decision read 30-27 twice and 29-28.
More from UFC 205: Results | Milestone tracker | McGregor adds 2nd title with Alvarez KO | Woodley-Thompson title tilt ruled majority draw | Jedrzejczyk survives brief scare to defend title | Romero drops Weidman, eyes champ Bisping | Former champ Tate ends career at UFC 205 | Edgar outduels Stephens, Khabib gets big win in prelims | Miller continues resurgence with FIGHT PASS victory | Carmouche makes history again in victory
Backstage interviews: Frankie Edgar, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tim Boetsch, Vicente Luque
Octagon interviews: Tyron Woodley & Stephen Thompson, Joanna Jedrzejczyk & Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Miesha Tate, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jim Miller, Liz Carmouche
FIGHT PASS customers: Watch the first two fights of the night here
Order now: Get the historic UFC 205 replay here
The jab of Pennington (9-6) was on target in the first round, reddening Tate’s face, but she didn’t throw enough of them to keep the former champion from closing the distance and making it a close range fight. Pennington nearly locked in a choke as Tate sought a takedown, forcing the Las Vegan to leap off the fence to get free. But by the end of the round, Tate began controlling the grappling sequences.
The second round was fought primarily on the fence, with Tate unable to get into second gear against the Coloradan, who was still putting together her best offense at range.
Tate pulled guard on Pennington to start Round 3, and while she found her way to the mat, Pennington used the top position to drill her foe with strikes. Tate stayed focused as she tried to get a submission, but Pennington wasn’t giving in, even scoring a takedown of her own in the final minute that was followed by a series of hard strikes, capping off a victory that will certainly elevate her in the 135-pound rankings.