Despite Miesha Tate and Sara McMann each having lost recently to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, their fight at UFC 183 on Saturday night was seen by many as a bout that would keep the winner in immediate contention for the title.
McMann quickly put her Olympic-silver-medal wrestling on display, putting Tate on the back foot with some solid right hands, and then driving her to the mat with a takedown and keeping her there for the rest of the round.
McMann didn’t do a lot of damage, but she took side control for most of the round, landing several hard shots, but also going after a couple of submission attempts that she couldn’t quite lock out.
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The second round was more of McMann driving Tate around the Octagon with powerful right hands… up until the final minute and a half of the frame.
Tate found another gear, perhaps out of desperation, and stormed McMann in a flurry of punches, driving the fight to the mat, and securing a guillotine choke. She worked the choke for the final 90 seconds of round two, but couldn’t quite put McMann away with it, although she did add a couple knees to the body for good measure in the final seconds.
“I think if I would have had 10 seconds more (I could have finished her),” Tate said after the fight.
As much as the opening frame was all about McMann, the final round was all about Tate.
Although McMann threw Tate in the opening seconds, Tate turned the tables as they hit the mat, putting McMann on her back and immediately taking control.
“She almost had that takedown, but (I knew) I can’t give it up, so I had to fight tooth and nail for that last position,” Tate later commented.
Tate spent much of the final round in side control, driving short elbows to the body and forearms to the face. McMann squirmed and scrambled, but couldn’t get out from under Tate, who kept attacking until the final horn, even going after a Kimura in the waning seconds.
The judges scored the fight a majority decision for Tate: 29-28, 29-27, and 28-28.
The win over McMann puts Tate on a three-fight winning streak since her loss to Rousey in late 2013, and keeps her in the running for another shot at the champ.
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