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Miesha Tate: ‘I was always meant to be’ at flyweight, targets ‘statement of my career’ at UFC Long Island

UFC Fight Night: Vieira v Tate Weigh-in Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Miesha Tate is getting a long-awaited change of scenery this weekend (Sat., July 16, 2022) at UFC Long Island.

Set to face recent title challenger, Lauren Murphy, Tate’s Flyweight debut was supposed to take place two weeks ago at UFC 276 (July 6, 2022). Unfortunately, Murphy fell ill with COVID-19, pushing the fight back.

As a former UFC Bantamweight champion, Tate, 35, has had plenty of highlights throughout her illustrious career. Against Murphy, she’s hoping to make the performance her most memorable yet.

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TOP 15 BANTAMWEIGHT BATTLE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to “The Lone Star State” on Sat., Dec. 2, 2023, with a 155-pound main event showdown between top-ranked division contenders, Beneil Dariush (No. 4) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (No. 8), both of whom are looking to inch closer to a division title shot in 2024. In UFC Austin’s co-main event, Bobby Green will looks to continue his resurgence against short-notice “Tarantula,” Jalin Turner.

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“I really want to make this fight the statement of my career,” Tate said at UFC Long Island media day (h/t MMA Junkie). “So, I have big plans for this fight and I’m really excited for Saturday. The finish line is close.

“I’m dropping to Flyweight, and I think I was always meant to be here,” she continued. “I just never had the opportunity,” Tate said. “The Flyweight division wasn’t introduced to the UFC until well after I retired. This last fight, which was a really narrow decision loss to Ketlen Vieira, really kind of prompted me. I think it was important that I did lose that fight. I’m glad it was a competitive one, but it was a bit of a sophomore slump.”

Tate has fought twice since unretiring in 2021. Her comeback appearance saw her look arguably better than ever, defeating Marion Reneau via third-round technical knockout with ground and pound punches (watch highlights). “Cupcake” returned to main event duty afterward, facing the aforementioned Vieira. Battling valiantly, Tate came up short on the wrong end of a unanimous decision (watch highlights).

Despite the last setback, a win over the highly ranked Flyweight, Murphy, could very well position Tate as next in line for a shot at the champion, Valentina Shevchenko, who has already noted she’ll be keeping a close eye on the match-up.

“I was very excited to hear her mention my name because if the champion is going to say it, there’s definitely some value in it,” Tate said of Shevchenko. “She definitely has some pull in whether she goes up to 135 and fights or stays right here at 125. So I want to make that statement and say that she has some work to be done in this division.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Long Island fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 2 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Long Island: “Ortega vs. Yair” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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