Miesha Tate Open To Grappling Showdown With Cris Cyborg
By Ross Markey
Former UFC bantamweight champion, Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate has revealed recently that she would be open to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matchup opposite the decorated current Bellator featherweight titleholder, Cris Cyborg.
Tate, who announced her retirement from professional mixed martial arts with immediate effect following her UFC 205 unanimous decision defeat to one-time title challenger, ‘Rocky’ Raquel Pennington back in November 2016, still remains under contract with the Dana White led organization.
Relocating to Singapore following her decision to walk away from the Octagon, Tate currently works with Charti Sityodtong’s ONE Championship as a vice president.
The former undisputed 135-pound gold holder established an 18-7 professional résumé over the course of her eleven-year career, before hanging up her gloves following a pair of defeats to the above mentioned, Pennington, and current two-weight world champion, Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes.
With six-fights remaining on her UFC deal, Tate questioned the possibility of a grappling matchup with Cyborg, detailing how she would be interested in sharing the mats with the Brazilian — as long as the legalities of their respective contracts could be ironed out.
“I have six (fights left on my UFC contract),” Tate said during a recent interview with James Lynch from the Fanatics View. “So if I wanted to fight, which I’m not, I wouldn’t be able to fight anywhere else. So you wouldn’t see me pop up and fight for ONE Championship or anybody else because obviously, I can’t legally do that. I would like to grapple, and you know, (Cris) Cyborg did call me out to a grappling match. That piques my interest.”
“It would be amazing,” Tate continued. “I think if we want to make it happen we definitely have to figure out the legalities of it, because my fight contract is owned by the UFC, right? She fights for Bellator, and I work (for) and represent ONE Championship.”
Despite both Tate and Cyborg competing under the UFC’s banner at the same time, a pairing, which was briefly floated by the former never came to fruition.
Embarking on a hugely-successful five-fight run prior to her loss to Nunes, Tate bested Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann, and Jessica Eye to earn shot at then-champion, Holly Holm’s undisputed bantamweight title.
Taking co-main event honours at UFC 196 in March 2016, Tate rallied in the final round in a fight she was losing, to score a hail-mary rear-naked choke win over Albuquerque native, Holm, choking the Jackson-Wink MMA staple unconscious to claim the UFC bantamweight throne, adding to prior success at 135-pound Strikeforce gold.
Claiming the undisputed Bellator featherweight title at Bellator 245 in January of this year, Cyborg landed in the Scott Coker led promotion with a fifth-round knockout victory over longtime titleholder, Julia Budd. Extending her unbeaten run to three-fights, Cyborg managed her first successful title defence with a second-round rear-naked choke win over Arlene Blencowe in October at Bellator 249.
A prominent submission-grappler, Tate, who managed to score seven submission stoppages from eighteen professional wins, most recently took home a victory over above noted opponent, Eye at Submission Underground 2 in December of 2016.