In quite the surprising return from retirement last night, former undisputed Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion, Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate is set to snap an almost five-year hiatus from professional mixed martial arts — making a comeback on July 17th. against the retiring, Marion Reneau.
Tate, who is set to make her first Octagon appearance since UFC 205 in November of 2016, dropped a unanimous decision loss to former title challenger, Raquel Pennington at the Madison Square Garden event, immediately announcing her intentions to hang up her gloves afterward.
The loss followed a UFC 200 headlining spot against current two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes, where Tate relinquished the bantamweight crown in a one-sided rear-naked choke defeat to the Brazilian.
In the time since, the 34-year-old grappler has relocated to Singapore under the banner of Chatri Sityodtong’s ONE Championship, where she acts as VP. Commenting on the return of Tate, promotional CEO, Sityodtong congratulated Tate on her return to active-competition.
“Congratulations to my friend Miesha Tate on her comeback!” Sityodtong wrote on his official Facebook. “When she first approached me with the idea several months ago, I thought it was a crazy idea. It is a reminder that dreams are never crazy to the person going after them. but only to the world. She intends to win the UFC title again! From the start, Miesha has always had my full support and blessing because I love watching friends chase their dreams. Of course, I would have loved to watch Miesha compete in ONE and eventually fight for the world title here, but she was already locked into an athlete contract with UFC (even prior to joining ONE as VP). No matter what happens. Miesha will always be a part of the ONE Family.“
Tate finally scored the bantamweight championship with a rallying effort against then-titleholder, Holly Holm in the co-main event of UFC 196 in March of 2016, and upon her return to the UFC this summer, plans to lay down foundations for another championship reign, including a rematch against the aforenoted, Nunes.
“I’ve got six fights on the (UFC) contract, I’ve got two years that I know for sure I want to dedicate to this sport,” Tate explained on her SiriusXM show. “But look, anything can happen off of one fight. I’ll be honest, I really don’t know exactly what to expect. That’s what’s so exciting for me… But I can tell you for the next two years, that’s my plan, to be heavily involved in the sport. Obviously, I want to become a champion again…“
“I’d love to run that one back (against Amanda Nunes),” Tate said. “I would love to fight (her) again because I know I have the style to beat her. I’m not at all gonna take anything away from her. She’s a scary woman and she hits like a man. I know that, I’ve been in there with her and I’ve seen what she’s done since then. But I know I have the style to beat her.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
Involved in an infamous two-fight rivalry against inaugural UFC bantamweight best, Ronda Rousey, Tate dropped the Strikeforce championship to the Judoka back in 2012, before rematching Rousey at UFC 168 in December 2013, suffering another armbar defeat. Tate also featured on The Ultimate Fighter 18 as an opposing coach to Rousey — replacing an injured, Cat Zingano.
With an 18-7 professional record, Washington native Tate is regarded as a pioneer for female mixed martial arts at the highest level, scoring notable career victories over the likes of Jan Finney Hitomi Akano, Marloes Coenen, Julie Kedzie, Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye, as well as the above-mentioned, Holm.