Miesha Theresa Tate is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
She is a former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She has also won a silver medal in the FILA Grappling Championships.
Tate is currently ranked as the No. 11 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world by MMARising.com and the No. 6 135-pound female fighter according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings. As of April 11, 2014, she is #2 in official UFC women’s bantamweight rankings.
Tate was born in Tacoma, Washington. She wrestled on the boys’ wrestling team in high school. In 2005, she won the high school women’s state championship and went on to win nationals at the World Team Trials in the 158 lb division.
While attending Central Washington University Tate’s colleague, Rosalia Watson, encouraged her to attend the mixed martial arts club with her. Soon after attending, Tate officially joined the mixed martial arts sport club at Central Washington University that was run by her current boyfriend and trainer, Bryan Caraway. She amassed a 5–1 amateur record in MMA before turning pro.
Tate’s MMA career
Tate debuted in mixed martial arts in 2007 at the one-night HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix. She defeated Jan Finney in the opening round, but was knocked out later in the night by a head kick from eventual tournament champion Kaitlin Young.
On June 27, 2008, Tate faced Elaina Maxwell at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson. Tate moved up in weight for the fight and defeated Maxwell by unanimous decision. Tate won three more times and captured the FCF Women’s Bantamweight Championship by defeating Liz Carreiro at Freestyle Cage Fighting on April 4, 2009.
She returned to Strikeforce at Strikeforce Challengers: Evangelista vs. Aina on May 15, 2009. Tate was originally scheduled to face Kim Couture, but Couture withdrew from the fight due to undisclosed reasons and Tate was matched up against Sarah Kaufman instead. In a competitive fight, Tate was defeated by unanimous decision, which marked the first time that Kaufman had gone to a decision.
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.
Tate was then scheduled to be part of the one-night Strikeforce 135-pound women’s tournament on August 13, 2010 at Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs. Taylor. A random drawing was held on the day of the weigh-ins to determine first-round matchups and Tate faced Maiju Kujala in the opening round of the tournament. She defeated Kujala by unanimous decision after two rounds to advance to the tournament final. She then defeated Hitomi Akano by unanimous decision after three rounds to become Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Tournament Champion.
Tate was scheduled to challenge Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship on March 5, 2011, but withdrew from the fight after suffering a knee injury in training. The two met at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on July 30, 2011. Tate defeated Coenen via submission (arm-triangle choke) to become the new champion. Following the fight, Tate stated, “I think I’m not in reality quite yet,” Tate said shortly after winning the women’s bantamweight title. “I can’t believe that I have a belt to take home with me. I really had to dig deep those last couple rounds. Like I said, I had a tough end to my training camp, but I just feel like I went out there and I did what I needed to do and I won the fight and I’m world champion.”
Amidst a highly publicized rivalry, Tate lost her Strikeforce title against Ronda Rousey on March 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. The fight served as the main event of Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. She lost the fight via submission in the first round due to an armbar after appearing to dislocate her elbow. Tate then faced Julie Kedzie at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman on August 18, 2012. She defeated Kedzie by submission via armbar in the third round.
Tate in UFC
In February 2013, Tate officially joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC announced that she would face Cat Zingano on April 13 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
With regard to her long-term goals, Tate stated the following:
|“||Becoming a champion means more to me than anything—more than a rematch, more than anything. That’s something that when I’m 80 years old someday and I have kids and grandkids I can look back and say, ‘Look, this is what I did. This is my accomplishment.’ So that’s my ultimate goal.||”|
Prior to the fight, it was revealed that the winner of Tate vs. Zingano would receive a title shot against Ronda Rousey, who became the inaugural UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. It was also revealed that the winner would coach against Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter 18.
Despite winning the first two rounds, Tate lost in the final round by TKO. Tate argued that the stoppage was premature. The back-and-forth action earned both women a Fight of the Night bonus. On May 28, it was announced that Zingano had withdrawn as Rousey’s opponent and opposing coach after suffering a knee injury which required surgery, and had been replaced by Tate.
The rematch between Rousey and Tate took place at UFC 168 on December 28, 2013. After surviving the first two rounds, and escaping two submission attempts, Tate lost via armbar in the third round.
Tate faced Liz Carmouche in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 11. She won fight via unanimous decision.