CHICAGO -- Miesha Tate wanted to come out and make a statement Saturday night when she met Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16.
She was looking for a finish, the sort of emphatic victory she needed to get another shot at Ronda Rousey's UFC bantamweight title.
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And while she didn't get it, Tate (17-5) was aggressive throughout, nearly finished the bout several times, and put in a dominant performance when she needed it. Tate got 30-27 scores from all three judges for her fourth consecutive victory.
Though she had the bulk of the United Center crowd behind her, Tate was tentative in the opening minutes of the fight. Eye peppered her with combos every time she tried to close the distance. But Tate changed the course of the fight with a huge right hand to the jaw which dropped Eye to the mat. Tate sealed the round on the ground, as she moved into side control and landed several elbows to the head.
Eye kept her hands too low during the second round, and Tate took advantage, popping her in the jaw on several occasions. She scored another knockdown, landed hammer fists, went to the ground, and worked for submissions up until the horn.
The pace was last frenetic in the third, but Tate scored a takedown midway through, continued to push the pace after they were stood up, and Eye was never able to do anything to turn the fight in her favor.
Eye (11-3, 1 NC) lost for the second time in her past three fights.