LAS VEGAS (AP) — Miesha Tate won the UFC bantamweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, finishing Holly Holm in a rear naked choke with 90 seconds left in the fifth round.
The penultimate fight at UFC 196 was a thrilling clash of styles, and Tate fought until the waning minutes before finally using her superior ground game to outstanding effect.
“I feel like we had a great game plan,” Tate said. “I had to be patient. She’s very dangerous. She’s capable of catching anyone at any moment. She’s a very calculated fighter.”
Holm appeared to be winning her first fight since she dethroned Rousey with a stunning head-kick knockout in one of the sport’s biggest upsets.
Although Tate controlled the second round on the ground, Holm picked apart Tate with punches for the other three rounds before the fifth. Tate knew her advantages were on the ground, so she tried multiple takedown attempts that were defended well by Holm.
Everything changed when Tate finally landed a desperate takedown attempt and got Holm’s back with 2 minutes left.
Miesha Tate wins UFC 196 in unlikely fashion.
Holm fought desperately to get out, but the veteran wrestler sunk in a choke that eventually left Holm apparently unconscious. Tate let go when she felt Holm go limp. Tate was overwhelmed after finally reaching her longtime goal.
She lost twice to Rousey earlier in her career, but hasn’t lost a fight since 2013.
Holm reveled in a publicity tour and a rally of 20,000 fans in her native Albuquerque after her win over Rousey, but the new champ decided not to wait while mixed martial arts’ most famous fighter regrouped for their rematch.
Holm agreed to take on Tate, the very definition of a dangerous matchup for less experienced fighters.
The UFC’s plans for an incredibly lucrative rematch between Holm and Rousey just got complicated.
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