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Morning Report: Miesha Tate believes a ‘dominant win’ over Ketlen Vieira could earn her a title shot: ‘I’m not really sure who has a stronger case’

Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Earlier this year, Miesha Tate ended a five-year retirement from the sport, returning to competition with a third-round stoppage victory over Marion Reneau. One of the biggest stars in the sport and a former bantamweight champion, many expected that upon her return, Tate would be immediately thrust into title contention. Instead though, Tate is having to earn her way back to the top and this weekend she takes on MMA Fighting Global Rankings’ eighth-ranked bantamweight, Ketlen Vieira in the main event of UFC Vegas 43. It’s a calculated decision from Tate who that she wants to be fully prepared to upset Amanda Nunes when she does get her shot.

“Everything is going to go according to what I feel is right,” Tate told ESPN. “I get to be the boss of my career and I feel like the ball is in my court. I feel like it’s the more respectful way - to climb the rankings in the division - and I feel like it’s a proper progression and that’s exactly what I want out of my career.

“Sometimes you only get one shot. When I take that shot at Amanda, it will be the perfect timing. I’ll have the perfect aim. I will be the sniper to take her out. But I’m not gonna jump the gun. I’m going to build my way into it and make sure I’m allowing my body the time to evolve, my mind, everything to be in that perfect form so that when I get to that title shot, I’ll be ready.”

Tate and Nunes have fought once before, in the main event of UFC 200 where Nunes demolished Tate in three minutes and 16 seconds, claiming the bantamweight title and embarking on one of the most dominant runs in the history of the sport. It’s a loss that Tate has been clear about wanting to get back and “Cupcake” believes that a dominant win this weekend over Vieira could potentially line her up for that chance.

“I think a dominant win over her for sure puts me in the top five and I understand it could definitely put me in a number one contender conversation,” Tate said. “I think it depends on the performance. With a really dominant win, it could make me the next number one contender, because the division has been run by Amanda for so long, since I left. She’s the one that took the belt from me and she’s fought everyone else that has a strong case right now. I’d be on a two-fight win streak.... I’m not really sure who has a stronger case if I get a good solid win this coming weekend over Ketlen.”

The bantamweight division is a bit devoid of contenders at the moment. In the UFC’s rankings, Raquel Pennington is the only top-10 fighter in the division with back-to-back wins. Julianna Pena is set to challenge Nunes for the title next month at UFC 269 but after that, the division is wide open. With Tate’s name and pedigree, a good performance this weekend may well set her up for a title fight. In Tate’s dream scenario at least, that is exactly how things play out, followed by another championship rematch.

“Ideally, I want to fight Ketlen, I want to get a win, maybe one more fight but perhaps Amanda next after that,” Tate said. “Then I would to fight Holly (Holm), have her fight me for the belt.... I think it would just be the perfect story. I came in and I got the belt from her when she was the champ. (Then) I’d be the champ and she’d get to have that fight against me, so that’s my perfect world.”

UFC Vegas 43 takes place this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.


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Until this very moment, I did not realize how rough things are at women’s bantamweight. ONE fighter in the top-10 on an actual winning streak (aside from the champion). That has to be a first. Oof.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Michael Chiesa
    (336 votes)
  • 28%
    Sean Brady
    (132 votes)
468 votes total Vote Now

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