The UFC’s #2 ranked women’s bantamweight contender Meisha Tate survived a desperate challenge from undefeated Japanese fighter Rin Nakai to win her second consecutive bout in the UFC.
Keeping the fight off the ground
Fighting before Nakai’s countrymen at the Saitama Super Arena, Tate used he supreme striking to fend off Nakai’s takedown and submission attempts en route to scoring a unanimous decision win at UFC Fight Night 52 last Saturday.
The 28 year old “Cupcake” out struck Nakai 83-37 throughout the three round bout. She showed tremendous improvement in her striking game which she emphasized after the bout:
“I wanted to keep this on the feet to show that I have a good striking set,” Tate said.
Tate used her size advantage in the first round to keep her distance, while landing solid right hands on her opponent’s head. She also controlled the shorter but stockier Japanese in the clinch and was able to land meaningful elbows. She finished round one strong, by hitting Nakai with uppercuts and combinations.
But Nakai was a relentless foe. Sensing that she could not out strike her opponent, she tried her very best to take the fight to the ground. She would often catch Tate’s kicks and try to sweep her off her feet or she would duck under her punches and try to take her down. But Tate was prepared for these and showed tremendous take down defense. She instead converted those situations to a clinch and landed knees, elbows and short punches on Nakai.
As the fight went on though, Nakai got more comfortable inside the Octagon and was able to take Tate’s back a couple of times in the second and third round to threaten her with submission attempts. Again, Meisha was up to the task. She held her own against one of the best women’s mixed martial artists outside of the UFC.
Getting called out
Shortly after winning he bout, Tate was called out by #3 ranked Sarah McCann via social media. The former Olympic silver medalist was Ronda Rousey’s next challenger following her victory over Meisha Tate last year. Unlike Tate, McCann avoided Rousey’s dreaded armbar but was stopped with a vicious knee 69 seconds into the bout. McCann has rebounded from that loss by defeating former Invicta FC women’s bantamweight champion Lauren Murphy last month.
Tate has back to back wins over Liz Carmouche and Rin Nakai after her loss to Rousey. If she takes on McCann’s challenge and the UFC obliges, then Ms. Cupcake could be on her way to another date with the rowdy one.