Miesha Tate Chokes Holly Holm Unconscious to Win Title at UFC 196

Trent Reinsmith
(Photo: Getty)

“… and new UFC women’s bantamweight champion …”

That’s a phrase we have now heard twice in the last few months, and both times it has been a phrase that came unexpectedly. The first time it was uttered was in November when Holly Holm knocked out then-champion Ronda Rousey. The next time we heard it was Saturday night when Miesha Tate choked Holm unconscious to become the third champion in UFC women’s bantamweight history.

Both fighters were very cautious early on. Tate did not want to get overly aggressive in her striking, avoiding the counterstrikes of the dangerous Holm. By the same token, Holm didn’t want to fight in the clinch and play into the hands of the wrestling-based Tate.

In the second round, Tate was able to get the fight to the mat and attempted to clamp on a choke, but Holm remained calm and used hand fighting to avoid the submission. However, the time spent on the ground showed that Holm’s skills on the mat are not up to par with her striking skills.

Rounds 3 and 4 played out as the first: cautiously. However, when the final round came around, Tate turned up her attack and was able to gain a takedown. Once on the ground, the more experienced Tate took Holm’s back and moved in for a rear naked choke. Holm tried to stand and flip the challenger off her back, but Tate was locked on.

When the two hit the ground, Tate tightened the choke and Holm went unconscious, swinging punches into the air as referee John McCarthy came into to wave off the fight.

“I feel like we had a great game plan," the new champion said. "I had to be patient. I had to push it to those rounds; obviously, she’s very dangerous. She’s capable of catching anyone at any moment, so I knew I had to play it patient and find the perfect moment.”