Tate grinds her way to women’s 135-pound title, finishing with a side choke

Steve Cofield
July 31, 2011

Miesha Tate wrestled with the boys in high school, so there's little mystery to her game. She wanted to get Marloes Coenen down, and down often.

After spending 10-plus minutes on her back, a warn down Coenen found herself in a nasty arm-triangle choke in the middle of the fourth round. Referee John McCarthy called a stop to things at 3:03 of the round giving the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title to Tate.

At just 24 years old, Tate (12-2) may be the future of the division, but the women's 135 class has another young lady in her mid-20's. Sarah Kaufman, 25, beat Tate back in 2009 on a Strikeforce Challengers card and will probably get the next crack at the title holder.

Tate's explained that her experience with the boys in high school was the genesis of this title run.

"It made me tough. It's a big, huge reason why I'm here today," said Tate, who wrestled in Olympia, Washington. "That toughness got me through that fight. Marloes is no joke."

Her recent path to the cage was far from easy.

"I had a good start to my training camp, a rough finish. That's what makes the heart of a champion, it's tough times. Tough times only make you tougher," said Tate.

Coenen (19-5) is a very solid fighter with good striking and submission skills, but her stiffness on the feet and lack of  side-to-side movement killed her chance of defending takedowns. She was too often a sitting duck for Tate, who was good on 5-of-6 takedown attempts.