This is the UFC Vegas 31 live blog for Miesha Tate vs. Marion Reneau, the bantamweight co-main event for Saturday’s fight card at the UFC APEX.
The fight will serve as the first for Tate in nearly five years away, while Reneau will make the final walk of her career. Tate, a former UFC champion, announced her retirement after a unanimous decision loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205. After years away from competition, but still staying active on the MMA space from an executive level, the mother of two is ready to make another run at UFC gold.
Reneau enters her last professional fight coming off of four consecutive unanimous decision losses to Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya, Macy Chiasson and Pennington. The 44-year-old will look to wrap her up career with her first win since a third-round submission of Sara McMann at UFC on FOX 28 in February 2018.
Check out the UFC Vegas 31 co-main event live blog below.
Round 1: Both fighters have entered the octagon for this 135-pound co-main event. Tate looks completely relaxed ahead of her first fight since UFC 205, while Reneau looks intense and focused before the final fight of her career. Mark Smith is the third man in the cage and gets them going. Tate and Reneau are feeling each other out early before the former champion throws a combination that comes up short. Leg kick to the upper thigh from Reneau lands while Tate lands a right hand. Leg kick from Reneau counters a jab from Tate, followed by a nice right hand from Tate that wobbles Reneau slightly. The 44-year-old lands a trio of right hands and a leg kick to try and slow the former champion down. Halfway through and Tate lands a straight right before shooting for a double leading to a clinch against the cage. Reneau defending well but Tate is able to hang on to the position in the clinch. Reneau gets separation and they circle. Hard right hand from Tate lands, Reneau lands a left before Tate gets the takedown with just under 50 seconds to go. Reneau looking for a triangle but Tate passes into half guard and ends the round on top.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9 for Tate
Round 2: Both women found success on the feet early, but Reneau needs to avoid the ground in order to try and even things up. Reneau comes out with a little more aggression landing a pair of punches, Tate answers with a right of her own. Stiff jab from “Cupcake” lands and attempts a leg kick that comes up short. Good right hand from Reneau scores, Tate moves in and eats a right hand. Tate throws a right hand and ducks for a double leg, hoists Reneau up—who blatantly grabs the fence—and gets the takedown. Midway point of the round sees Tate in half guard while Reneau is working towards a kimura. Body shot lands from Tate as Reneau gets warned about having her toes in the fence. Tate gets up to her feet, lands a leg kick, then hops back into Reneau’s half guard and lands an elbow, followed by some hammer fists. Another hard elbow from Tate bloodies the nose of Reneau with under a minute to go. The ground and pound continues from Tate who ends up back to her feet for a moment before ending the second on top of Reneau.
MMAFighting scores it 10-9 for Tate. 20-18 overall
Round 3: Tate is five minutes away from picking up her first win since submitting Holly Holm at UFC 196 to become the bantamweight champion. Tate immediately uses her strikes to get into a double leg and gets another takedown. Reneau trying to advance position but Tate is able to get the advantage, almost in full mount landing short left hands over and over again. Tate now in full mount unloading with ground and pound. Mark Smith has seen enough and the comeback is complete. Tate becomes the first fighter to finish Reneau in the process.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Miesha Tate def. Marion Reneau via TKO (punches) - Round 3, 1:53