Miesha Tate


Miesha Tate is a trailblazing figure in women’s mixed martial arts (MMA), known for her tenacity in the cage and her contributions to the growth of women’s combat sports. With a career spanning over a decade, Tate has established herself as one of the sport’s most recognizable and respected athletes.

Early life

Born on August 18, 1986, in Tacoma, Washington, Miesha’s fighting spirit was evident early on. She was nurtured and brought up by her mother, Michelle, and stepfather, Robert Schmidt. From her early days, Miesha was notably more adventurous and spirited than her peers, showcasing her tomboyish nature.

During her formative years at Franklin Pierce High School, Miesha was on the lookout for a sport that she could immerse herself in. Although basketball was an option, she was more drawn to the challenge of amateur wrestling. Making a bold decision, she joined the boys’ wrestling team, where she spent her entire high school journey from freshman year to graduation. Reflecting on this period in 2011, Tate mentioned, “In the beginning, it was like being thrown into the deep end without knowing how to swim. For the initial weeks, I was completely out of my depth, and yes, I got dominated.” However, her determination shone brightly when, in her senior year of 2005, she not only competed but also clinched the title at the girls’ state championship.

As Tate transitioned into her college life at Central Washington University, her journey into the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) began serendipitously. A friend nudged her to join the university’s MMA club. Initially hesitant, Tate’s reservations were put to rest when she discovered that the club was predominantly filled with wrestlers. “It felt like I had found my tribe,” Tate expressed, indicating that her wrestling background allowed her to seamlessly integrate and find her footing in the MMA community.


Amateur Career

Initially, Miesha Tate had reservations about diving into the MMA world, candidly admitting her aversion to the idea of being hit. However, witnessing her training colleagues in real-time action catalyzed her desire to give it a try. Her debut in the amateur MMA circuit came in March 2006, where she squared off against Elizabeth Posener, renowned for her Muay Thai skills.

In the opening round, Tate managed to grapple Posener down to the mat. But, to everyone’s surprise, she refrained from landing any strikes, leading her coaches to urge her to seize the offensive. The tide turned in the subsequent round when Posener managed to land a knee from a clinch, which left Tate bleeding. Reflecting upon this moment in 2012, Tate realized the reality of what she had gotten herself into, admitting, “I had an epiphany; this wasn’t just a wrestling contest, it was a full-fledged fight.” Rising to the challenge, Tate broke free from a submission, retaliating with a barrage of punches on Posener, who was now defenseless on the mat.

Even though Tate displayed an unwavering spirit and was keen to push forward, her team decided it was best to halt the fight after the second round, primarily because of the injuries she endured. Reflecting on this experience, Tate mentioned, “Adversity only fuels my fire. The more I’m pushed to a corner, the fiercer I become.” Her early forays in the amateur MMA circuit saw her achieve an impressive 5–1 record, paving her way to step into the professional arena.

Professional Career

Miesha Tate made her professional MMA debut in 2007, and her early career was marked by notable successes. However, it was in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization that Tate truly made her mark. She won the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship in 2011 by defeating Marloes Coenen, a victory that propelled her into the spotlight.

When the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) introduced its women’s bantamweight division, Tate was among its first and most prominent athletes. Over the years, she had fierce rivalries with fighters like Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm. Her grit and determination shone through when, at UFC 196 in March 2016, she secured a victory over Holly Holm to become the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

Outside of the cage, Tate has also played a significant role in promoting women’s MMA. Her candid interviews and accessibility to fans have made her one of the sport’s most beloved figures. In addition to her fighting career, Tate has ventured into other avenues, such as acting and MMA commentary. After initially retiring from competition in 2016, she made a triumphant return to the cage in 2021, showcasing that her passion for the sport remains undiminished.

Fighting Style

Miesha Tate is celebrated for her deep understanding and proficiency in various grappling disciplines, spanning wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and submission defense techniques. This grappling-centric approach to fighting earned her the apt nickname, “Takedown.” A testament to her grappling prowess was evident in July 2011 when she clinched the Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship by becoming the first female fighter to submit Marloes Coenen in an MMA contest. Notably, at UFC 183, Tate showcased her grappling superiority by outmaneuvering Sara McMann, an Olympic wrestling medalist. Additionally, Tate holds the distinction of being the only fighter to have repeatedly evaded Ronda Rousey’s infamous armbar. Post their inaugural bout in March 2012, Rousey acknowledged underestimating Tate’s ground game, expressing that Tate was “far more ground-savvy than expected.”

In the initial stages of her career, Tate’s signature move was the double-leg takedown, often executed by lifting her adversary while pinning them to the cage. From a dominant top position, Tate preferred side control to mount. When at her opponent’s back, her strategy was usually to establish a body triangle and then unleash a series of strikes. With multiple wrestling titles under her belt, Tate’s strength on the mat was undeniable, often allowing her to control and trap adversaries in compromising positions.

Tate’s expertise also extends to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. When initiating attacks from her guard, she frequently opted for the armbar or the triangle choke. Throughout her fights, Tate displayed a rich array of submission techniques, employing moves like heel hooks, guillotines, and kimura locks. In her face-off with Julie Kedzie, Tate showcased her versatility by using a triangle to transition into a mount.

Prominent media platforms such as Yahoo! and FoxSports.com have lauded her ground game, describing it as both “dominant” and “powerful”. Many of Tate’s rivals often found themselves outmatched once they were taken to the ground. For instance, Julie Kedzie mostly steered clear of ground combat when facing Tate. Meanwhile, during their clash at UFC 168, Ronda Rousey consistently defended and counteracted Tate’s takedown endeavors.

Net Worth

Tate’s net worth is an estimated $6 million


Miesha Tate’s career in MMA is filled with numerous achievements that cement her legacy in the sport. Some of her most notable accolades include:

Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship
UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship
Multiple successful title defenses in both promotions.
Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, commemorating her contributions and outstanding performances in the sport.
Beyond her in-ring achievements, Tate has been recognized for her role in advancing women’s MMA and for her ambassadorial work for the sport globally.