Miesha Tate is the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
In an incredible finish at UFC 196 on Saturday night, Tate choked Holly Holm unconscious in the fifth round to capture the title for the first time.
Holm was leading into the fifth round, winning three of the first four frames by out-striking Tate and doing enough to control those frames, but Tate had a strong second on the ground after she nearly submitted Holm then. The fifth seemed to be going the same as the first, third, and fourth, with Holm out-pointing Holm on the feet, but then Tate shot in late and took Holm’s back. Holm popped to her feet, but Tate secured a no hook rear naked choke under the chin, and Holm tried to shake her off.
That proved to be her downfall, as she didn’t break free, and Tate had the hold on tight. Holm thought about tapping, but went unconscious before she could.
The result blows up what could have been the biggest fight in UFC history in Ronda Rousey returning to try to recapture the belt from the woman who took it from her. Instead, Rousey will either return for a third fight with Tate, or they’ll have to figure out something else to do this summer before Rousey’s planned return in the fall.
Penick’s Analysis: There are a number of ways this could play out, but the UFC and Holm lost big on the gamble to keep her active. Tate is absolutely deserving of the title around her waist, and she may finally get her chance avenge the losses to Rousey in a fight they wouldn’t have given her otherwise.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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