Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight scrappers Miesha Tate and Raquel Pennington threw down last night (Nov. 12, 2016) at UFC 205 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Tate lost her title just a few short months ago, and last night was her first return to the cage since that devastating defeat. To remain a relevant player in the title picture, Tate had to turn away “Rocky” last night. Meanwhile, Pennington’s three fight win streak earned her a step up in competition here. There was a lot on the line for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, as this could be her breakthrough moment.
Pennington started the bout by showing off her quick hands, stabbing at her opponent with sharp jabs. Tate didn’t like that one bit, and she didn’t waste long before changing levels and aiming for a takedown. Initially, Pennington did a nice job of defending, using a front headlock to lift Tate. However, the wrestler’s raw determination was enough to keep driving and transitioning, allowing her to eventual drag Pennington to the mat.
From there, Tate controlled her foe from top position until the end of the round.
At the start of the second, Pennington’s hands were once again a major factor. She did an excellent job of nullifying the clinch attempts and landing hard shots on the break. Nevertheless, Tate eventually drove her foe into the fence, where she scored with some nice knees to the body. With Tate unable to land another takedown, the fight quickly changed into a clinch war. The women traded position against the fence often, as Tate attacked with knees and Pennington dug in some hard punches.
Overall, Pennington was the more effective fighter in the second round.
In a really bizarre turn of events, Tate pulled guard immediately to start the round. Tate spun around on her back attempting to land armbars and triangles, but Pennington kept good posture and landed ground strikes in return. For the rest of the round, Tate attempted slow submissions and worked back into the clinch, but she never really accomplished anything. Throughout all the transitions, Pennington simply kept landing and out-working her opponent.
It earned her the decision victory.
Pennington did just about everything she wanted to in this bout. Outside of the one takedown in the first round, “Rocky” was able to stop the shot and constantly punish her opponent. Half-way through the second round, all of the damage had really worn away at Tate. Pennington made the questionable decision of choosing to engage “Cupcake” on the mat, but it ultimately didn’t matter, as she was in complete control. The jab was a major weapon in this bout. Pennington kept Tate uncomfortable and forced her to take ugly shots, which sapped the former champion’s energy badly.
Following this victory, Pennington is officially a title contender. In her next bout, a match up with Valentina Shevchenko would make sense. For the second time in a row, Tate simply looked lethargic inside the Octagon. At no point in the bout did she look energetic or explosive, as Tate seemed to be forcing her way through each and every exchange.
Because of that, her retirement didn’t feel out of place.
Tate has accomplished a ton in her career. She captured both the Strikeforce and UFC title via submission, taking advantage of small opportunities to submit her opponents. She’ll also be remembered for her pair of bouts with Ronda Rousey as well, as Tate was the first to push “Rowdy” and showcase some of the holes in her game. Beyond all else, Tate’s will to win deserves to be remembered and respected.
At UFC 205, Raquel Pennington put on the best performance of her career and retired Miesha Tate. Is Pennington a future champion?
For complete UFC 205: “Alvarez vs. McGregor” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
UFC 205 results from last night: Miesha Tate vs Raquel Pennington fight review, analysis – MMAmania.com