Miesha Tate will be looking to capture the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship tonight at UFC 196 against new defending champion, Holly Holm. In Holm’s first title defense, she immediately takes on the 3rd best fighter in the division. This fight has high expectations as both fighters have mutual respect for one another.
Both women look more focused than their last fight as they should be. Holm has a four inch reach advantage in this fight, which will definitely be playing a key factor. However Miesha Tate should do her best to use her wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background to her advantage. If she does, this could be a very big turn of events in the Bantamweight Division.
The round kicks off with a few missed strikes and a hesitant start from both fighters. They continuously circle the Octagon attempting leg kicks, which would give Miesha a disadvantage over Holly Holm, who is very dominant in the striking area being a multi-time boxing world champion. A very slow first round to start, but to judge the round, it went to Holm due to more strikes landing. Poor start to an anticipated fight, hoping it picks up as it goes on. However, Miesha Tate looks very comfortable and determined tonight going against Holly Holm, who has a large amount of pressure on her now.
Miesha seems a little more fired up in the opening of Round 2. A takedown by Miesha Tate is getting the crowd pumped up at this point, she knows this is not Holly’s strong suite which now puts her in favor. A few elbows to the head is allowing Tate to lock in a submission any minute now. Holly Holm seems to confused and out of sync on what she is doing now. Holm is noticeably struggling after being on the ground for over a minute. The struggling of Holm is freeing her arm to open a Kimura Lock or an Armbar submission, if Tate gets a good look on it. Holm finds her way onto her knees which Tate on top, again opening herself to another submission. Tate locks in a Rear Naked Choke, Holm is struggling to hang on with 30 seconds left. A smart move made by Holm, tucking her chin down to free herself from the submission and ending the round on a major loss.
After a major impressive showing from Tate in Round 2, she is again explosive in the 3rd round. She now has the advantage over Holm as Holm is now looking quite gasped at the beginning, but still looking strong at the same time. Tate is landing and missing strikes constantly. Once again a poor round, it is hard to judge exactly who won the round but the final minute seems to give Holm a slim advantage over Miesha Tate to most likely win the round for herself.
Championship rounds begin and Holm misses a few body kicks but gets Tate to the cage in a clinch. They trade some punches back and forth along with a knee or two from Holm before throwing her off the cage, back to standing up. Again the round goes slow, missing punches and a few rushes failing from Miesha. She is trying not to make the same mistake Ronda Rousey did, which would be to chase after Holm. Holm stuffs a takedown from Miesha and lands a few head punches while at it, possibly securing a Round 4 victory. The last minute of the round is fought with a few punches and headkicks. Round 4 is a win for Holly Holm, giving her the advantage if the fight goes to decision.
Final round of the fight, if Holm keeps her head in the game she will most likely be retaining her title tonight. A missed headkick headlines the beginning of the round, but more strong strikes follow and connect from Holly. Miesha is not looking to stand up for the rest of the round, she is searching for the takedown and submission. She gets the clinch of Holly against the cage but it gets turned around. Holly gets out the clinch and it is back to standing up, this will be crucial for Tate. A few more strikes land and the takedown attempts continue to fail for Miesha Tate. One good takedown could be all she needs with two minutes to win. She successfully gets a takedown on Holm, one submission could be it as she gets on her back. Holm stands up but Miesha has a Read Naked Choke locked in and tugs onto it. Holly Holm taps!
Winner and NEW Women’s Bantamweight Champion is Miesha Tate in an amazing fight. An amazing showing from Miesha tonight and it paid off as we now have a new champion. Great effort from Holly Holm, who would have won this fight if it weren’t for the submission. Congratulations to Miesha Tate, we all look forward to her title reign in the future!