Miesha Tate picked up a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Liz Carmouche in the UFC on Fox 11 co-main event from the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
Miesha Tate d. Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). That was the right call.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) April 20, 2014
The fight wasn't the most exciting bout in UFC history, but Tate was able to do enough in the eyes of the judges to pick up a momentous victory for her moving forward.
Round 1 turned out to be one in which Carmouche established herself as the physically stronger fighter. While Tate never panicked, Girlrilla was able to consistently get to the positions she wanted to in the clinch and on the mat.
Carmouche was too physical for Tate in R1. Miesha looks like she's in a daze. Tate's corner, Robert Follis, asks her to "get after it now."— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) April 20, 2014
The second round was a much more even affair, as both fighters went back to the grappling game to score the round in the judges' eyes. While Carmouche's strength carried the day in Round 1, Tate's aggressiveness in the submission game was enough to make the round a true toss-up.
Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report scored the round for Tate:
Tate turned it up in round 2. Nearly had a guillotine. I have this even going into the final round.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) April 20, 2014
The third round was by far the most dominant round turned in by either fighter as Tate came very close to ending the fight with a rear-naked choke attempt late in the third round:
What else can you say about Miesha Tate? She knew she was down after one round and did what she had to do. Very impressive.— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) April 20, 2014
This win vaults Tate right back into relevance in the women's bantamweight division. Her rivalry with Ronda Rousey has made her one of the most recognizable fighters in the sport of Women's MMA, but her results in the Octagon were certainly putting that distinction into question.
She headed into this bout just 1-3 in her last four bouts. With two of those losses coming to Rousey herself, there's still an argument to be made that she's one of the division's elite.
For Carmouche, this is another disappointing step toward irrelevance. She also became a notable fighter on the coattails of Rousey. Her title fight with the reigning champion was the first to headline a UFC event.
Unfortunately, this loss now makes her the loser in three of her last four fights and on the outside looking in when it comes to the top contenders in the division.