Current women's bantamweight Champion, Miesha "Cupcake" Tate (18-4) will defend her belt for the first time against #4 ranked judo artist, Amanda "Lioness" Nuñes (12-4) on July 9th in Las Vegas at UFC 200.
What we know about Miesha "Cupcake" Tate
Miesha has had a very long 10-year journey starting from becoming the Strikeforce women's bantamweight Champion to now hold the belt as the UFC women's bantamweight Champion. Her choke-out win against former Champion, Holly "The Preachers Daughter" was a fantastic moment in the sport.
Tate became an exceptional wrestler after first starting in high school training with mostly boys. Miesha has always seemed very tough throughout all her wins and losses. Her odyssey through losing to Ronda Rousey not once, but TWICE was not an easy one. However, she always found her way back to her feet ready to fight. That has to play a certain factor in your head about determination. She had a go big or go home moment and came back more focused.
Her goal to become Champion came true. As a striker, Tate is a scrappy fighter.
She knows how to take punches in all kinds of forms. Don't let her cupcake cuteness fool you because she comes with nothing less than a game face whenever stepping inside that Octagon. I never saw her as the underdog, but a lot of fighters feel she has been inside Ronda's shadow. She has transformed herself. Especially her striking skills have grown a lot over the years. It was proved how she stood up to Holly Holm.
Her old name used to be "Takedown" so even though it's "Cupcake" now, she is known to have a very strong ground game. Tate gains a submission just as fast as she can out-strike you with speed.
What we know about Amanda "Lioness" Nuñes
Nuñes is a ground specialist. She has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in judo. She has mostly first-round finishes in all her fights where 9 have come from solid TKOs. She is a beast on the ground and very dangerous coming from her experience. Some fighters in the division might not look at her as a threat because she isn't in the spotlight too much.
After UFC 200 I think their perception will change. Amanda really does turn into a "Lioness" right when that music starts during her walkout. Nuñes finally has this opportunity to fight for the belt even though she was well deserving to fight for it when Ronda Rousey was Champion.
She is fast. She is smart. She knows how to read her fighters and break them down one solid strike over and over.
The power going through those UFC gloves is something of confidence. Especially after her win against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196.
SO WHAT DO I THINK OF ALL THIS??
I have been wanting this fight to happen for a while. If it wasn't Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate was pretty much equal as far as match-ups go. This bout makes so much sense. Tate is coming off of a five-fight win streak and this is the first time she is defending her title.
"You are never a real Champion until you defend your belt" must be playing over and over in her head. It is a nerve-racking time as much as it is glorious. She is going to come hard. I can see both fighters standing up and brawling on their feet for most of the first round until one of them decides to take down the other first. It is all about timing.
I feel Tate will go for the takedown first and finish right on the ground with a submission. Or they end up taking it all the way to the 5th round and Tate ends up winning by the decision because she is going to get those points no matter what. Miesha never stops.
It isn't going to be easy though. To get Nuñes on the ground really isn't going to be that easy. She has to be smart and take her time. They both know how to work the ground game. Even with the power of "The Lioness" I really can't picture her ever getting a TKO over Tate.
Sometimes, Miesha doesn't even seem human with how much she can keep herself standing after being struck in all angles from strikes.
This fight is a long time coming and I can't wait to see them touch gloves inside the Octagon.