Miesha “Cupcake” Tate Retires at UFC 205

After a ten-year amateur/pro career in the sport of mixed martial arts, Miesha “Cupcake” Tate walked out of the Octagon for the final time of her career last night, doing so at “the world’s most famous arena”–Madison Square Garden in New York City.

On the UFC’s 23rd birthday and MSG debut after a nearly two-decade-long battle for legalization, it’s also noteworthy that women were the first to walk out into “The Garden.” Liz Carmouche vs. Katlyn Chookagian started the initial preliminary fights with Tate and Raquel “Rocky” Pennington being first on the pay-per-view main card.

The Washington native finishes her career at 18-7 (5-4 in the UFC) with her biggest win being over then-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly “The Preacher Daughter” Holm for that belt. Tate would drop the title to current champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes in her first defense at UFC 200 in July.

In a way, her career came full circle by squaring off with Pennington, a contender she had previously coached on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter. Pennington though was inarguably in control of the fight for the full 15 minutes with an effective jab throughout and a highlight reel standing guillotine choke coming in the first round.

Tate fought back with clinch knees, a crowd-pleasing elbow, and knees from inside in a second round of phone booth fighting and her strong suit of wrestling. Add in an armbar and triangle choke attempt from Tate in the third and it was a great effort that just wasn’t enough.

“I’m announcing her retirement tonight, it’s my time,” she said. “It’s not my time, I had a lot more to give but I had to pull it out of myself. I love this sport, thank you but this is it for me.”

Raquel Pennington def. Miesha Tate via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)