Photo by Josh Hedges via Getty Images
One of the most important fights in women's MMA history occurred last night (July 30, 2011) in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois as Miesha Tate challenged Marloes Coenen for her Strikeforce women's bantamweight title.
Both women knew the importance of the fight. It had been given significant exposure and unprecedented placement directly before one of the most anticipated fights of the year. They needed to deliver with the amount of eyes that were on the fight.
Did it live up to the hype?
As has been mentioned earlier, the conclusion was certainly fantastic, but the set-up wasn't exactly thrilling.
We'll walk you through Tate's upset special and where both talented ladies go from here.
Miesha Tate got her blueprint for victory from Liz Carmouche at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson this past March. In that fight, the ex-marine repeatedly took Coenen down, passed her guard and dropped some ground and pound.
After repeated clinch attempts, Tate finally scored a takedown in the first round but had to fend off a pretty nasty guillotine attempt from the champion. She survived by passing to side control, but mainly worked the positional dominance game
Coenen bounced back in the second, reversing an attempt from Tate to take the fight to the ground and immediately latching onto Tate's back but she couldn't threaten with anything significant despite having over three and a half minutes to work.
"Takedown" Tate got back to work in the third, putting Coenen on her back repeatedly but she was stood up due to lack of activity on the ground. Maybe her secret plan was to lure the champion into a false sense of security because Coenen never saw the fourth round finish coming.
With Tate again using her wrestling to put "The Golden Girl of Golden Glory" on the canvas, she quickly passed to side control. Coenen seemed more concerned with defending the mount than any submission attempt. Tate put her in the "knee on belly" position but instead of attempting to pass to mount, she isolated an arm, locked up an arm triangle and slipped all the way over into side control on the opposite side with a surprising choke attempt.
Coenen was completely caught off guard and didn't even have the space to grab her own leg to defend the choke, being quickly forced to tap out and relinquish her title or be rendered unconscious. It was the first time the Dutch fighter had been submitted in her 10 year MMA career.
For Marloes Coenen, she was completely devastated. The now ex-champ stated that she had been arrogant and overconfident on the ground, never expecting the submission from Tate. She repeatedly stated that she wants her belt back and the likely best plan of action would be to square off against undercard winner Alexis Davis, one of the more promising 135 pound females in the promotion.
For Miesha Tate, congratulations are in order. She had stated before the fight that to submit Coenen would be her dream, the ultimate victory, and she pulled it off. It was totally unexpected and those are the victories that are the sweetest. Former champion Sarah Kaufman is next in line.
Tate was limping pretty heavily at the post-fight press conference so she could be sidelined for a while depending on the severity of her injury. When she does return, she will have an opportunity to avenge one of her few career losses against Kaufman, who destroyed Liz Carmouche last week on the Strikeforce Challengers show to earn a shot to reclaim her belt. In the meantime,
So what do you think Maniacs?
Was the thrilling finish enough to make up for a mediocre first three rounds? With "Cyborg" Santos without any future prospects and Gina Carano off doing who knows what, is Miesha Tate the new face of women's MMA?