Miesha Tate made a triumphant Octagon return after five years away from the sport.
Miesha Tate gets TKO win in return fight at UFC Vegas 31
Returning to UFC action after such a long hiatus is no easy task. Welcoming "Cupcake" back to the cage was a tough stalwart of the bantamweight division in twelfth ranked Marion Reneau, and the two trading shots early in the fight. However, the standout throughout the three-round bout was the improved striking of Tate. And she used it well to keep her 44-year-old foe off-balance to then unleash her patented takedowns.
And takedowns were certainly landed by the 35-year-old Tate. It was the bread and butter of her attack before she left, and was just as effective five years later. She was able to get a takedown in each round and used her wrestling gifts to control Reneau and rack up points.
By the third round, the wave of momentum was on Tate's side. As her striking looked good and third takedown would be all she needed to end it early. Tate worked to a position where she had Reneau's right arm pinned and started to bomb away with strikes on the face of her opponent. Eventually, "The Belizean Bruiser" was able to get her arm free, but by then Tate had her back and reigned down punches. Reneau offered little in return and the referee stopped the fight at 3:08 in the third round. Handing the former bantamweight champion a technical knockout in her comeback bout.
The win ends a two-fight streak Tate had incurred before she left, and likely lands her a spot in the 135-pound rankings next week.
Reneau ends her career on a five-fight losing streak, but she leaves a solid resume as one of the more consistent members of the bantamweight division over the last decade.