Miesha Tate Retires After Loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 1
Adam Hunger, USATSI

MMA superstar Miesha Tate shockingly announces her retirement after her loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205.

This is why you never take your eyes off the UFC Women’s division, and we are not talking about looks. We mean shock value as every fight since Ronda Rousey’s upset has brought surprise after surprise.

The surprises continued in New York City during UFC 205 when Miesha Tate lost and retired in a single night in the Octagon.

UFC 205 has seen some great action and as far as the ladies of the Octagon are concerned, we didn’t even get to the main match to see the women’s MMA universe take a hit when Miesha Tate (18-7) was defeated by decision when the student beat the teacher.

Raquel Pennnington (9-5) made a name for herself on the Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs Team Tate. She was picked by Tate and made it to the semi-finals.

“To get against Miesha, I love Miesha, she’s someone I look up to,” Pennington reflected, “Someone’s your idol and then she becomes your rival.”

Who was to know three years later that at Madison Square Garden at UFC 205 she would hear Tate announce her retirement from MMA?

“I have been doing this for a decade, Tate spoke in mid-ring, “I love ths sport forever but it’s not my time anymore, it’s the future’s time.”

It’s ironic that with a little patience, Tate might have been the one to welcome back Ronda Rousey. She upset Rousey’s conquerer, Holly Holm, in March, with a fifth round rear-naked choke that saved a decision loss. But Tate was run over by Amanda Nunes in one round in July and with it lost her UFC Bantamweight title.

The former Strikeforce and UFC champion was a foundation piece that supported the current popularity the women enjoy now in MMA. Pennington, who now has won four straight since losing a split-decision to Holm, recognized Tate as a pioneer and didn’t agree that she should have retired in this manner.

“I don’t think you cut out with a loss,” Raquel responded, “Everybody talks about Rousey is the face of women’s MMA. I think that Miesha is right there with her.”

Raquel boxed well early taking an early advantage in the opening round, Tate scored a submission attempt in the second round but Pennington proved to be more skilled than most gave her credit for countering all of Miesha’s submission attempts.

“I get categorized as a brawler but I havd a toolbox full of tools the world has yet to see,” Pennington bragged.

When asked about when she decided to retire, Tate agreed that the result played a major part though she nearly did last year when she was passed over in favor of Rousey-Holm.

“I just had a lot more to give and I couldn’t pull it out of myself,” Tate pointed out, “It’s been a long time; I’ve taken a lot of punishment.”

Miesha Tate leaves a sport and a division that is much stronger and deeper than it ever was ten years. It is the depth of talent in addition to the returning Ronda to the mix that should sustain it in the years to come. Tate will always be remembered for being one of the building blocks of women’s MMA.

I am a veteran sports writer who has contributed to New York City Sporting News, Double G Sports, and Latino Sports. As the Voice of the Voiceless, I serve as the instrument that educates and informs.