The Co-Main Event of UFC on FOX 11, featured a women’s bantamweight bout between two top ten fighters and 2 fighters who both recently fought for the UFC bantamweight championship–both losing to Ronda Rousey.
The fight started off in Liz Carmouche’s favour as the former Marine Corp was able to use her strength and take Miesha down to the mat in the first two rounds. Despite not being as active on the ground, Carmouche was able to control Tate on the mat, with her smothering top game. Despite being out grappled, Miesha was the one landing a higher volume of strikes on the ground with elbows from the bottom, which ultimately swayed the judges in her favour. And a strong 3rd round, in which Tate also submitted Carmouche with a rear naked choke, helped Miesha secure the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Ironically, Tate’s original game plan did not involve taking down Liz Carmouche, but rather involved a more striking-centric approach. But her opponent’s style in the first two rounds forced her to adjust her game in the 3rd round.
“The plan was not to necessary takedown Liz. I’ve been working very hard on my striking, I’ve been training with Jimmy Gifford and he’s an amazing striking coach. I wanted to show that I have been working on that,” Tate said. “It was a little bit of a frustrating style because I think that Liz didn’t want to engage in that. For some reason she wanted to take it to the ground. I thought we were going to stand and bang a little bit, but then we got caught up in the ground a little bit there. Then I realized that she was going to smother and just go for the takedown, I was like well I can do that too So I figured it out in the 3rd round. But it wasn’t the game plan to go after the takedown right away.
Tate attributed her slow start to thinking too much instead of doing, which was caused by a mental hurdle due to her previous two losses in the UFC. And felt a strong sense of relief when the judges scorecards were read and it came out in her favour.
“I was just trying not to be a psycho in the fight, and just be a little more calculated in the fight,” Tate said. “I was struggling with a mental hurdle, just losing two in a row is just really rough. Started to think ‘am I cursed?’, going through all those weird questions. I started off slow, there’s a fine line for me between thinking and going. And when I go that’s what happens in the 3rd round, and when I’m thinking that’s what happens in the 1st round. It took me a minute to be like ‘you know what I’ve got to go’.”
“But I’m over the hurdle now, I won the fight. I’m happy I got my first UFC victory and it’s going to motivate me more.”
Tate admittedly was not confident that she would get the decision over Liz, thinking that she had lost due to her opponent being on top for the longer period of time.
“No I wasn’t confident that I won it to be perfectly honest,” Tate said. “I honestly actually thought that Liz probably won the fight because she had more riding time. I know she won round 1, and round 2 she kind of just held me there for a while. From what I’ve heard from other people the reasons the judges said I won round 2 was based on damage. The fact that I was staying busy when she was just holding me, I was trying to throw elbows. I think the reason I won the round was just based on damage.”
After her first victory, the former Strikeforce bantamweight champion set sights on another former Strikeforce champion, when the name Gina Carano was brought up by a reporter during the post-fight press conference, Tate quickly jumped at the opportunity and wanted to be the first in line.
“I’d like it, I’ll take that fight all day long, for sure. I mean I’ll fight anybody but I’d love to fight Gina,” Tate said.
In addition to Gina, Tate also brought up the names Sarah Kaufman and Holly Holm in the post-fight interview on Fox Sports, as potential future opponents.