In a night that had up until that point been decision-heavy, Miesha Tate pulled off an impressive submission finish over Marloes Coenen that fired up the crowd and earned her the woman’s bantamweight title.
As in her other recent fights against wrestlers Coenen spent a great deal of this encounter fighting from her back in a tactical battle, looking to find an opening to add yet another submission win to her record.
Tate was well aware of the threat however and after surviving a brief choke attempt after her first takedown of the evening she switched to side control and effectively stifled Coenen’s offense completely for the remainder of the round.
The second round was big for the champion as she was able to reverse a takedown attempt from Tate and took her back. The rest of the round was spent in a tense tactical battle as Coenen looked for an opportunity to sink in the rear-naked choke, but was thwarted by Tate’s dogged defense.
Onto the third and there was all to play for and it was Tate who took the initiative, seizing a leg kick from Coenen early and then going on to control her on the ground again for the remainder of the five minute spell.
Round four started with Coenen looking to work her striking game but Tate managed to press her up against the fence and secure yet another takedown.
Eventually finding herself in side control right against the fence it looks as if Tate’s finally going to secure full mount on Coenen, sliding her leg across, but no, out of the blue she slips right across to Coenen’s other side and it becomes apparent that she’s locked in an arm triangle choke.
The slick move has caught BJJ expert Coenen by surprise and quickly running out of air she’s forced to tap with 3.03mins of the fourth round gone.
This is a huge moment for Tate, becoming the first fighter to ever submit Coenen and winning the belt in the process and as you might expect she’s overcome with joy at the result.
Tate’s first title defense was established afterwards in the cage, with former champion Sarah Kaufman, who holds a prior victory over her, being confirmed as her opponent.