Miesha Tate plans to reclaim UFC bantamweight throne, takes inspiration from Francis Ngannou

Tate
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

Former UFC bantamweight champion, Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate makes her surprising return to active competition for the first time since November 2016 this weekend, and with plans in place to eventually reclaim the 135lbs throne, the veteran looks to take inspiration from Xtreme Couture teammate and current heavyweight titleholder, Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou.

Tate snaps a five-year hiatus from professional mixed martial arts this weekend at UFC Vegas 31 — taking co-headlining honours beneath lightweight grapplers, Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises as she draws the retiring, Marion ‘The Belizean Bruiser’ Reneau.

The Washington native last competed at UFC 205 back in November of 2016 at Madison Square Garden, suffering a unanimous decision loss to former title challenger, Raquel Pennington. The defeat came as Tate’s second consecutively following a UFC 200 headlining loss to current two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes where she dropped the undisputed bantamweight throne. 

Tate, 34, holds an 18-7 professional record from 25 professional walks, and with plans to eventually become a two-time undisputed bantamweight champion, Tate is looking to take inspiration from Batie power-puncher, Ngannou — pointing at the Cameroonian’s initial loss to then-champion, Stipe Miocic — before eventually lifting the title back in March in the pair’s rematch.

It’s a tall order,” Tate said during a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I know. A lot of people think I’m delusional, I know. I know it’s crazy but everyone thought I was crazy before. I was the underdog going in (at UFC 196) against Holly (Holm) and look you’ve got to dream big. If you’re not dreaming big then you’re cheating yourself. People thought Francis (Ngannou) was crazy, too, the first time he got defeated by Stipe (Miocic). He figured it out and he’s a better version of himself.

If there’s anybody I’d like to model myself after, it’s that man (Ngannou),” Tate explained. “That storyline and figuring it out. I can’t get ahead of myself but I do have long-term goals. My long-term goal is to be a world champion again. [The] Short-term goal, don’t underestimate Marion Reneau. She’s tough as sh*t and I know she’s going to bring it on July 17th.

As well as lifting spoils under the UFC’s banner, Tate held the now bantamweight crown under the now defunct-Strikeforce banner and has managed to take home career successes against the likes of Maija Kujala, Hitomi Akano, Marloes Coenen, Julie Kedzie, Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye, and, Holly Holm.

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