Former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made her return to the octagon against #8 ranked Raquel Pennington on the first bout of the UFC 205 main card. Pennington won the bout via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
The first round began with the pair immediately exchanging boxing combinations in addition to a couple leg kicks landed by Tate. Pennington began to find a home for the jab and followed up with a couple clean punches. Tate then brought the fight to the fence and shot in for a double leg but came close to being submitted with a guillotine from Pennington before getting the fight to the ground. Pennington was able to get back to her feet by the bell.
In the second round, Pennington started to gain some momentum by repeatedly landing the jab and following up with solid right hands. A clinch was initiated by Tate and the two went back and forth with close range boxing until the end of the round with the most significant damage being done during a short flurry by Pennington.
In the beginning of the third round, Tate pulled guard, presumably for her lack of success on the feet, and attempted armbar, which Pennington defended. Pennington managed to pass guard and advance to a north-south position before standing up as Tate attempted a heel-hook. The round ended after Pennington scored a takedown and landed some ground and pound.
In her post-fight interview, Pennington discussed what it was like to beat her former Ultimate Fighter coach.
“I must be doing something right,” she said. “She’s someone I’ve always looked up to.”
Following the bout, Tate spontaneously announced her retirement.
“It’s just not my time anymore,” she said after giving props to Pennington who she called “the future of the sport.”
Tate retires with an 18-7 record with the highlight of her career being her fifth-round submission victory over Holly Holm to win the UFC title in March.