Miesha Tate is one of the most experienced and well-known fighters in the UFC. She first made waves in various local MMA events in the late 2000s before making her debut for Strikeforce in 2008. After becoming the Strikeforce bantamweight champ in 2011, Tate moved to UFC in 2013 and quickly impressed. This eventually saw her beat Holly Holm in early 2016 to take home the UFC bantamweight title. After losses to Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington, though, she decided to take a break from MMA come the end of that year.
MMA fans, though, have been pleasantly surprised to see Tate make a return to the octagon. This saw her compete in two fights at bantamweight and come out of them with a 1-1 record. Following this, she has dropped a bombshell by announcing a decision to move down to the flyweight division.
As a result of this, her next fight will be against Lauren Murphy at UFC 273 in April 2022. This is set to be a major bout for fans and already people are looking to place bets on how it might turn out. If you plan to do this, it is essential to find safe, secure places to bet on UFC online. The best sports betting sites in Arizona are ideal for bettors in this state to use and it is also worth hunting down reputable sportsbooks to use if you bet from other US states.
Whatever happens in this bout, Tate’s decision to fight at flyweight moving forward has certainly raised a few eyebrows. But what advantages might it give her?
Height and reach advantage
At bantamweight, Tate has never really been able to use her height or reach to gain an advantage. This is because the fighters in this division are usually her equal in terms of stature. This may not be the case if she were to drop down to flyweight, though. Many of the fighters in this weight division would not be able to match the height and reach she has. In addition, fighting against women who are of physically smaller build could give her an advantage in terms of power.
No need to fight Julianna Peña
From comments made in the press by Tate, it appears she is pretty tight with current UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Peña . They appear to have not only have grown up in MMA together but also be pretty good friends. As a result, Tate seems reluctant to compete at bantamweight while Peña is still active, because it would probably mean them having to face off at some point.
Flyweight could reinvigorate her MMA journey
Tate has spent her entire UFC/MMA career fighting at bantamweight. Moving to flyweight could simply give new life to her journey and inspire her to get back to her best after an extended break from the octagon. Many feel that moving down into this division could give her new opponents to face and new opportunities to take on the biggest matchups. With people such as Valentina Shevchenko and Lauren Murphy in the 135-pound class, there are certainly some great bouts she could be part of.
Could give her a genuine title shot
As the above hints at, the flyweight division has some quality fighters in it. One advantage could be that it actually offers an easier route back to a UFC title than fighting in a stacked bantamweight class.
Until her recent comeback fights, Tate had been out of MMA for around five years and is one of the older active female UFC competitors. If she had stuck to competing against bigger, stronger and younger opponents in the 145-pound class, she might have struggled to truly make an impact. She would also have to get past Amanda Nunes, who has beaten her before. The UFC 200 loss to Nunes could have been a big mental block to overcome if she kept on fighting at bantamweight.
Miesha Tate dropping down makes sense
As in boxing, fighters in MMA can often flit between weight divisions and do choose to move between them at times. There can be a variety of reasons for this but it often comes down to fighting in a division that offers a better chance of winning a title or that gives you a natural physical advantage in fights. The decision of Miesha Tate to drop to flyweight in the UFC certainly comes with a couple of benefits that she will be keen to make the most of.