One of the most exciting developments in the still-young history of mixed martial arts is letting the girls get in the cage to tear each other to shreds. While there were plenty of promotions in the United States and Japan that let women scrap in the late 1990s, it took a long time for the idea to permeate the leadership figures in charge of the UFC, the largest and most recognized promotion in the sport.
As recently as 2011, UFC president Dana White said "Never" when asked when fans would get to see women fighting in the UFC. Just two years later however, in early 2013, Ronda Rousey caught Liz Carmouche in an armbar to hold onto the UFC Women's Bantamweight belt, after Strikeforce having been taken over by UFC. Since then, women's MMA has continued to grow in terms of popularity, and among those who have contributed to the rapid rise are Gina Carano, and Ronda Rousey.
The differences between women's MMA and men's are negligible. The women being slightly more flexible leads to more interesting grappling some of the time, and the average female fighter doesn't put as much force behind strikes as the average male in the cage/octagon. But strip away the specifics and the sport is the exact same. If there is one added bonus to women's MMA (for hetero males anyway) it is the fact that some of the competitors are absurdly easy on the eyes.
We already mentioned Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano. Others such as Felice Herrig, Angela Magana, Michelle Waterson, and Paige VanZant are also among the most gorgeous in the sport. One of the often overlooked beauties of women's MMA is former Women's Bantamweight champ Miesha Tate. After losing the belt to current champ Amanda Nunes, and then losing a tough one to Raquel Pennington, she called it a career in late 2016. Her record is nothing but impressive as she held both the Strikeforce and UFC Women's Bantamweight titles, and beat the likes of Liz Carmouche, Olympic wrestler Sarah McMann, and of course took that UFC belt from Holly Holm.
With her out of competition, we no longer have to see this gorgeous woman get hit in the face. Here are fifteen pictures of the stunning Miesha Tate that make us happy she isn't fighting anymore.
16 Tight Black Dress
This is a point we'll keep coming back to but Miesha Tate doesn't necessarily look like a fighter. At 5'6 and usually walking around at around 150 lbs (135 for fights), she isn't as jacked as some other female fighters are, and always had a strong look to her body, while staying thin, and feminine. We don't know what event she was attending or what venue she was at in this shot, but that dress is doing a perfect job showing off her fantastic body. Bryan Caraway, who we'll be taking periodic shots at throughout this article (all in good fun of course), was a lucky guy, too bad for him he couldn't keep her around. For those who aren't familiar, Caraway is a Bantamweight fighter in the UFC and Miesha's ex-boyfriend.
15 Joe Rogan Trying Not To Look at Her
This shot has absolutely nothing to do with how attractive Miesha is. To be completely honest, we included it for the sole fact that Joe Rogan is a hilarious dude and one of the best and most charismatic color commentators/analysts in the entire world of sport. At weigh-ins, athletes usually strip down to next to nothing and stand on a scale. Joe has been caught a couple of times sneaking a peek at the women on stage, and one infamous case saw him checking out Ronda Rousey, for which he got called out on Twitter. Miesha later tweeted "@joerogan exudes self-control." Rogan had tweeted prior to Tate's tweet “I’m thinking “Do NOT get caught on camera staring at her butt… AGAIN.”
14 The Body Issue
Ever since 2009, ESPN The Magazine has produced an annual issue of their publication that features athletes with nothing on (or very little on), but not specifically showing off the goods. While each year does feature both female and male athletes, we question whether or not a copy of any year's Body Issue has ever been purchased with the intent of looking at the male athletes. Several women of MMA have posed for The Body Issue, including Gina Carano, Ronda Rousey, Michelle Waterson, and Cris Cyborg (who posed with her then-husband Evangelista and it was difficult to tell them apart). We're still waiting on Paige VanZant. Miesha was featured in the 2013 edition of this glorious publication and she frolicked around on a beach.
13 That's Not Fighting Gear
There is an interesting duality of the beauty in this shot, in combination with the fact that Miesha Tate could easily kick, punch, or strangle me with ease. The boxing gloves, meant to protect the hands while fighting, are purely decorative, as the look on Miesha's face seems to indicate that she's ready to do just about anything other than fight. Pulling down her robe, sweater, whatever the heck it is, so that it just covers what has to be covered but leaves enough skin to get everyone taking a look excited is carried out to great effect here. Obviously wearing nothing at all would be highly preferable but as Mick Jagger said a long time ago, you can't always get what you want.
12 Nice Bra
Clearly, as we've decided to produce an article based around Miesha Tate pictures, we think she's pretty stunning. We most definitely aren't alone, and one of the icons of the early days of the UFC also has a thing for her. That man is Don Frye. Now in his early 50's, Frye won UFC 8, lost in the final of UFC 10, and won Ultimate Ultimate '96. Among his notable wins are Gary Goodridge, who he beat twice, and Tank Abbott, who he defeated in the final fight of Ultimate Ultimate 96. Frye continued to fight until his mid 40's in 2011, and after 1997, most of his notable fights took place in Japan. In 2002, he earned possibly the most impressive win of his career, stopping Ken Shamrock at Pride 19.
11 Brazilian Flag
As we just mentioned, we aren't the only ones who think Miesha is a Goddess. Don Frye agrees with us 100%. Back in June Frye posted his intentions for Miesha on Facebook after it was confirmed that she broke up with her long time boyfriend Bryan Caraway. He wrote:
"I understand Miesha Tate is single after 15 years. I'm single after 20 years....coincidence? I think not....July UFC Expo Las Vegas, lets do dinner, you're paying, your checks were probably bigger than mine. We could make super babies, my looks and your fighting skills, how can you say no to that?"
A fan later asked "how's Miesha doing with the free mustache ride?" To which Frye answered, “She loves it. She won’t even let me out of the room to get a glass of water." Don Frye is a legend in the sport, a UFC Hall of Fame inductee (2016) and a funny dude.
9 Really Pretty Face
This brings us back to a point we could make over and over again, the UFC's female divisions are getting packed full of vicious strikers these days, and while she defeated Holly Holm in a great war back in March 2016, Amanda Nunes absolutely slaughtered her a few months later, and then put away Ronda Rousey in comically quick fashion. Tate, who as we said, is primarily a wrestler, will just keep getting her face mangled if she were to keep fighting. It's a different world in women's MMA these days and Miesha's millions of fans want to see her face intact, rather than consistently bruised and bloody. She got the UFC Women's Bantamweight belt, and with that out of the way, we'd say she should just enjoy her retirement.
8 She's Got Legs
Thus far, we've managed to produce this article paying attention only to how attractive Miesha is without mentioning anything of substance about her outstanding MMA career. She grew up a self-professed tomboy, and got into wrestling in high school. She wrestled on the boys team while there, and eventually won the state championship in the 158 lb weight class in her senior year. When she got to Central Washington University, a friend encouraged her to check out the MMA club on campus. It was run by Bryan Caraway, who got her into the sport. Her wrestling skills transferred well to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and in 2006 she had her first amateur fight.
7 Bikini Body
You know you've made it in the world when someone in the adult film industry puts a parody version of you in a skin flick. In Miesha's case, her p*rn industry reference dates back to 2015. In August of that year, the studio BurningAngel produced Ronda ArouseMe: Grounded and Pounded. It was as terrible as you can imagine, with tons of MMA puns, atrocious acting, and a hilarious martial arts themed gym as a setting. Miesha's parody name was Miesha Taint, and she was played by tattooed hottie Sammie Six. While rival Ronda Rousey has addressed her name and career being the basis for this flick, saying the she had heard the nickname before and found it funny that "some girl somewhere is paying her bills with it now," Miesha hasn't said much about it.
6 Why Is She Sitting On The Floor?
While plenty of people admire her for her good looks, and wrestling ability, there is some speculation in the online MMA fan community over her chest. Numerous enthusiasts have used pictures from Miesha's earlier career and compared them to more recent shots. Their conclusion is that there may have been some augmentation at some point in the last couple of years. While she has never mentioned getting such a procedure herself, she did weigh in on the issue of implants and MMA earlier this year, calling the New York State Athletic Commission's rule regarding them "silly," after they almost cancelled a fight between Cynthia Calvillo and Pearl Gonzalez was almost cancelled at UFC 210.
5 That Posterior
While we don't want to tastelessly objectify Miesha in this article, we can't help but point out that she gloriously flaunts her phenomenal rear whenever she can, and it is one of the finest in the business (any business, really). While plenty of women go to the gym and do thousands of squats to achieve this kind of result, and Miesha is no stranger to a gym, plenty of her fitness comes from wrestling, and she considers martial arts training among the best ways to sculpt a fantastic body. For people who are blown away by this image, her Instagram page is full of this kind of thing so you can get your Miesha fix whenever you need.
4 Again, Really Nice Legs
Looking back to Miesha's career, she went 1-1 in amateur fights before going pro. In her first bout she sustained an injury and her corner threw in the towel after the second round. Her second scrap was a decision win. After this, she went pro, with HooknShoot's 2007 women's grand prix as her first event. She won her first fight via decision but lost her second of the night, getting knocked out via head kick by the woman who would go on to win the event, Kaitlin Young. That was back in 2007, and between that year and early 2010, she amassed a career of ten professional fights, with eight wins and two losses. After these ten fights in mostly small promotions, she started her run at the Strikeforce championship.
3 We'd Like to Get In The Octagon With Her
Here's another wonderful shot of her world class posterior. Miesha's first two Strikeforce fights were in 2008, when she defeated Elaina Maxwell, and 2009 when she was beaten by Sarah Kaufman. In March and August of 2010, she won three Strikeforce fights, including two to win the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Tournament. Just under a year later, Miesha fought and defeated current Bellator Featherweight Marloes Coenen via triangle choke. After this, her rivalry with Ronda Rousey started up, as Ronda essentially demanded a title shot, but Miesha considered her to have not earned it. In March 2012, Rousey beat her for the first time, via armbar (it took two armbars, for those who haven't seen it), taking her Strikeforce belt. Her final fight in Strikeforce ended in an armbar win over Julie Kedzie.
2 Miesha In a Corset
In early 2011, Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa (UFC) and most of the fighters in that promotion received new contracts. Her first fight in the octagon was against Cat Zingano, who took the fight int he third round via some vicious ground and pound and more than a few nasty knees. Her second UFC fight was her title shot against Ronda, which, once again she lost via armbar. Following these two losses was four decision victories, which earned Miesha another title shot, this time over Holly Holm. In that fight, Holly Holm was dominant, showcasing herself as the better striker. Unquestionably, three of the first four rounds went to Holly. Miesha was able to take her down in the fifth round however, and Holly, who is a comparatively inexperienced grappler, wound up in a rear-naked choke.
After her win over Holly Holm, Miesha had the unfortunate job of dealing with Amanda Nunes, who absolutely destroyed her face, outclassing her in the striking game and finishing her off on the ground with a choke. As we said before, her late 2016 loss to Raquel Pennington marked the start of her retirement. We're happy she did because we didn't care for seeing the state of her face after the Nunes fight. Since announcing her retirement she has remained active in the world of MMA. She works as an analyst fro Fox Sports, and also has a podcast entitled "The Miesha Tate Show Presented by Hunt Brothers Pizza,” on which she chats with athletes, celebrities, and anyone else she thinks will make for good listening. As awesome as her post-octagon activities are, we kind of miss seeing "Cupcake" fight, but at the same time, we're happy she retired so we'll never have to see her with a broken nose again.