UFC Fight Night results: Miesha Tate returns from near five-year retirement with TKO of Marion Reneau
The co-main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday was one of the most unusual crossroads fights in UFC history, with 34-year-old Miesha Tate ending a nearly five-year retirement as she faced 44-year-old Marion Reneau, who announced prior to the fight that it would be the final bout of her career. It was Tate who got the storybook moment, scoring a third-round TKO as she restarted her Octagon career with a bang.
Tate started slow in the opening round before mixing up some strikes and finally putting her grappling to work, ending the round in top position after a takedown. It was the first flash of the "old" version of Tate, a fighter who once carried the nickname "Takedown."
Reneau attempted to make the adjustment at the start of the second round, connecting with some heavy strikes in an attempt to keep Tate at range. Tate's grappling continued to be the story of the fight, however, scoring another big takedown and using a steady flow of ground and pound to draw a stream of blood from the Reneau's nose.
The takedown came again for Tate in Round 3, and this time she didn't let Reneau survive the ground attack. After putting Reneau on her back, Tate advanced position until she'd taken the back. From there, Tate dropped heavy shots until the referee was forced to call a halt to the action, awarding Tate her first win since she won the UFC bantamweight title from Holly Holm in March 2016.
"I'm so happy," Tate said after her victory. "This has been a lot of hard work and a lot of self-discovery in the process but I'm here and I'm back."
Tate may be most famous for her rivalry with Ronda Rousey. While she was never able to get the win against Rousey when Rousey was at the peak of her powers, Tate did eventually get a run with the 135-pound title. Having made her successful comeback, Tate said her focus remains on getting back to the championship.
"With all due respect, I'm not here just for a fight. I'm here for a belt," Tate said.
Reneau ends her fighting career on a five-fight losing skid, but still made her mark as someone who began her professional career much later in life than most.
"I'm glad I went out the way I did," Reneau said. "I'm glad I was allowed to fight my last fight in the cage and to fight a phenom. Believe it or not, I'm a fan. I've never stopped being a fan of hers. I did give it all I had and that's it. That's what's left for me, so I'm saying goodbye."