High-Stakes for Miesha Tate Going into UFC Long Island

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High-stakes for Miesha Tate going into UFC Long Island

On July 16, UFC Long Island’s main card will open up with a high-stakes fight for the women’s flyweight division as former UFC and Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate takes on former UFC flyweight title challenger Lauren Murphy. Murphy is currently ranked No. 3 in the flyweight division while Tate has been a trailblazer and a big name in MMA for a long time. This contest has created a possible scenario for the title shot, especially for the former champion in her new weight class.

Getting Down to 125

Since coming back from her 2016 UFC retirement, Miesha Tate has had some mixed results in the Octagon. “Cupcake” ended her almost five-year absence from the sport by defeating Marion Reneau via TKO in the third round back in July of 2021. However, Tate would end 2021 losing a unanimous decision to Ketlen Vieira in November.

In January, talks of the former UFC champion moving down a weight class began. Later in February on the MMA Hour, “Cupcake” talked to Ariel Helwani about her championship goals in this new weight class. Tate spoke with Phil Murphy and Jimmy Smith on ESPN that this move down in weight class was inspired by the trend of fighters changing divisions. She also mentioned that these weight classes for women were not available when she started fighting with Strikeforce all the way back in 2008.

The future UFC Hall of Famer is not underestimating this cut as she has talked with MMAJunikie’s Mike Bohn about her strategy with strength and conditioning coach Sam Calavitta at the famed Treigning Lab. Their approach will allow her to lose the weight in small increments so she doesn’t have to stress about making the 126 limit come July 16.

Possible Title Shot

The flyweight division is always in need of a big name to challenge the dominant champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Tate, a well-known fighter in women’s MMA for such a long time, will be worthy of such a title shot coming off a win over Lauren Murphy. Recently on The MMA Hour, the former champion stated that the UFC brass has not said this fight with Murphy has any title shot implication, but she did note how new opponents are always needed for the dominant Shevchenko.

Tate even went further by talking about the moments of Taila Santos controlling Shevchenko in the last championship fight gave her confidence that she can beat Shevchenko with the grappling skills that she has honed and showcased through her long career.

When speaking to James Lynch, the champion Shevchenko said she would like this fight to happen if Tate can get past Murphy on July 16. A victory on Long Island can create a significant opportunity for Shevchenko and Tate that many fans have been waiting for.

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