Miesha Tate and Raquel Pennington will square off to kick off the most anticipated UFC PPV of all time. Miesha has been a warrior for years, fighting her first professional contest way back in 2007. She’s a legitimate superstar and welcomes perhaps the future of the division into the big time here. Raquel Pennington is game. She has won three consecutive fights, and is looking to take a major leap forward in the Bantamweight division.
When you break down Miesha Tate, the first thing you realize is there’s an abundance of material to study. Miesha will be making the walk for the 25th time Saturday. She’s been there, and done that and as a result, you can count experience and the fact that she’s not going to see anything new as advantages. She’s a well-rounded martial artist, has perfectly adequate stand up, good submissions and great wrestling skills. She’s very durable and doesn’t fade early. It will be interesting to see how she goes about implementing her strategy. She’s never afraid to stand and trade, but she might benefit in utilizing some wrestling and cage control to wear out her opponent.
Raquel Pennington has been improving with each trip into the cage. She lost in the semifinals of The Ultimate Fighter “Rousey vs. Tate” and defeated Invicta Champion Tonya Evinger in the fight to get into the house. She was actually coached on the show by her opponent in this fight. Miesha selected her and trained her until Raquel lost to Jessica Rakoczy in the semi finals. Raquel has lost twice in the UFC, once to Jessica Andrade ( who she later defeated ) and Holly Holm. She’s won three in a row, and enters the cage coming off of a victory over Elizabeth Phillips at UFC 202.
This should be a pretty good scrap. I think however, Miesha Tate is just a notch or two better than Raquel at all the key skills required in MMA. Raquel is 8-5 overall, and she’s just not shown an ability to compete successfully against the elite of the division. The best attribute Raquel has, is her grit and toughness. However, Miesha shares that quality in spades, and I think she will just bring too steady a pace to the fight, and will utilize better standup to control the action, and eventually will take Pennington down and deliver some ground and pound and submission attempts. I love Raquel’s toughness, and it’ll be that toughness that keeps her in the fight, where she loses a pretty one-sided unanimous decision to Miesha Tate.
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