Miesha Tate was able to comfortably outstrike Rin Nakai tonight at UFC Fight Night 52 while stuffing many of her takedown attempts to earn herself a unanimous decision victory.
Nakai bobbing and weaving to begin as Tate takes the center of the cage and lands her first combination. Tate comes in with a knee strike, but Nakai initiates a clinch. Tate reverses her against the cage and then lands a nice trip. She doesn’t immediately follow her to the mat though and has to avoid an upkick before Nakai gets upright.
Tate with another kick that’s caught by Nakai. Nakai unable to take her down and Tate lands strikes. Back to striking they go and Tate’s connecting with the uppercut and definitely looks comfortable in the stand-up here. She goes for another knee and again it’s caught by Nakai and again she’s unable to take Tate down.
Nice elbow from Tate. Nakai swoops in for a takedown attempt, but Tate does well to stuff it and get back up again. Nakai’s punches are coming up short and Tate tags her with a solid combination of punches. High kick from Tate and more good punches behind it which causes Nakai to try for another takedown, but Tate reverses and is up again with a knee. Pretty much all Tate in round one.
Nice right hand lands for Tate to start round two and then whiffs on an uppercut attempt. Nakai with a takedown, but Tate gets right back up.
A few range finding punches for Tate and then a head kick attempt. Tate following Nakai and tries for another high kick attempt, but Nakai catches it. Tate continues to throw punches down while on one leg and that deters her opponent.
Tate continuing to push the pace, but suddenly Nakai is going for a takedown and then transitions to her back and tries for a choke. Tate stands and tries to shake her off her back. Eventually they do go to the mat, but it’s Tate who manages to get on top and lands some ground and pound elbows.
Tate gets to her feet and they battle in the clinch. Another takedown stuffed and they break apart. Tate now back to picking Nakai apart with punches. She overloads on one punch and misses which allows Nakai to attempt another takedown, but Tate’s done very well so far to repeatedly stop her from getting the fight to the mat. As the round comes to a close Tate lands one final solid right hand.
Tate misses with a two-piece combo and Nakai ducks under and works hard for a takedown, looking again to take her back. She’s unable to get her down though at first. She continues to look for it and gets Tate down while still latched to her back. Tate stands and Nakai jumps on her back again.
Tate manages to get her off though and goes back to striking. Nakai into the clinch and press Tate against the cage. The action stalling a little here as they battle in the clinch position. Tate tries for a takedown of her own but can’t land it and they break free.
Tate trying to get off punches, but Nakai works for another takedown. She’s not getting it, but her work rate is throwing Tate off her striking game a little. Tate again tries to strike and again Nakai is on the takedown and this time she briefly gets Tate on the mat, but she pops right back up.
Tate really moving forward now trying to land some meaningful blows in the final seconds of the round, but Nakai continues to play spoiler and takes this one to the judges.
Tate definitely did enough over the course of three rounds to win this fight, and that’s how the judges saw it too, handing her a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2).