Prior to her UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson bout against undefeated Japanese sensation Rin Nakai, Miesha Tate said she wanted to make a statement. She captured a clear-cut unanimous decision, but did little to advance her place in the women’s bantamweight division.
The former Strikeforce champion used her reach advantage to keep the shorter Nakai on the outside in the opening round. She fended off Nakai’s takedown attempts and punished her Japanese opponent while in the clinch position.
Nakai performed better in the second frame, securing a takedown and taking Tate’s back. Tate escaped the position and continued to use her boxing and reach to dictate the action.
The story of the fight was Tate’s takedown defense. The few times Nakai was able to get the fight to the ground, Tate immediately bounced back to her feet. She earned a one-sided victory, but the fight was largely uneventful.
“I wanted to keep this on the feet to show that I have a good striking set. It’s something that’s still new to me being a wrestler, but I’m working on it and I think I did much better tonight,” said Tate following the win.
As the fight wore on, Nakai’s takedown attempts became more frequent and more aggressive. Tate felt the constant threat of a takedown disrupted her rhythm.
“I think she became more desperate, so she was more relentless with the takedowns. It made the striking a little bit harder to time for me,” said Tate.
The win puts Tate on a two-fight winning streak. The 28-year-old didn’t call out anyone after the fight, but made it clear that she eventually wants a rematch with Cat Zingano.
“I would really like anybody, but eventually I want that rematch with Cat Zingano, she said. “She’s back in the game now. I feel like I have unfinished business there.”
Zingano defeated Tate by TKO in April 2013, but Tate felt the fight was stopped early. Zingano is scheduled to face Amanda Nunes at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 after being sidelined since the win over Tate due to injuries and a personal tragedy.