Fight fans may have witnessed the official decline of former UFC women’s Bantamweight champion, Miesha Tate, yesterday afternoon (Sat., July 16, 2022) at UFC Long Island, which aired live on ABC.
Tate, who was making her women’s Flyweight debut after a long career competing at 135 pounds, looked suited for her new weight class. Her cut down to 125 pounds looked seamless when she stepped on the scale Friday and her body language entering the cage on Saturday suggested fight fans were about to witness an Octagon rebirth.
At least that’s what it looked like.
Unfortunately for Tate, her Flyweight debut was immediately ruined by the veteran presence of former UFC title challenger, Lauren Murphy. Despite being a betting underdog against “Cupcake,” the 38-year-old Murphy took control from the opening bell. She stuffed multiple takedown attempts, landed the more meaningful shots, and started to bust up Tate pretty good in early going. At no point did Murphy lose her handle on the fight as she cruised to a unanimous decision win.
While much can be said about Murphy’s resolve as a veteran coming off a technical knockout loss to Valentina Shevchenko nearly one year ago, more can be said about Tate’s performance. Dropping down from Bantamweight and doing all the right things to ensure a healthy cut fight fans believed Tate would get past Murphy and secure her own title shot against Shevchenko. Instead, Tate looked slow with her punches, hesitant to throw more than a few strikes at a time, and incapable of dragging the action to the canvas to utilize her superior ground skills.
This was Tate’s third fight since returning from a five-year hiatus and it was one of her more disappointing UFC performances to date. Murphy is a solid fighter who has defeated some of the best Flyweights in the world, but she wasn’t supposed to make Tate look like a fish out of water.
It will be up to “Cupcake” to prove this is just a bump in the road and not an indication of her UFC downfall.
For complete UFC Long Island results and coverage click here.