Former UFC and Strike Force Champion Meisha Tate made a big return to the UFC cage with a stoppage victory over Marion Reneau in the Main Card of UFC On ESPN 26 ( also known as UFC Vegas 31) on Saturday night at the UFC Apex.
Despite her very long layoff, Tate showed dominance in the bantamweight bout which aired Live on ESPN+ following prelims on UFC Fight Pass. The fight was the Co-Main Event.
The first round saw both fighters resolve to their striking with both connecting with ease but Tate was the aggressor and was connecting more significant strikes than Reneau. After some moments on feet, Tate closed down on Reneau and pinned her to the cage landing a few strikes before they got separated and had to return to striking on foot. Tate scores a knock down and was on half guard when the first round ended.
Watch Full Fight Video Highlights — Marion Reneau Vs Meisha Tate UFC On ESPN 26
Reneau started strong in the second round, using her distance well and connecting strikes from afar but by the halfway mark, Tate scored a takedown and secured top position then went searching for a ground and pound but Reneau did well to avoid that and survived the round though never getting a chance to get back on her feet.
Tate then went on full dominance mode in the final round, controlling the fight both on feet and eventually on the canvas after scoring a takedown. She was able to administer a ground and pound which, forced the referee to intervene and stop the fight, handing Tate the victory by TKO.
Tate returned from retirement with a win after staying away from the sport for almost five years. Tate retired back in 2016 after losing a unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205. She left with a two fight losing skid, losing her bantamweight title to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 first before the Pennington loss.
Reneau announced her retirement from the sport afterwards dropping her gloves on the Mat. This wasn’t surprising as Reneau had made clear she will be retiring from the sport following the UFC on ESPN 26 fight with Tate.