Former Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (18-7) will return from retirement this summer — and take on another retiring star of the division.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report that “Cupcake” Tate would return to the octagon for the first time since 2016, taking on Marion Reneau (9-7-1) on July 17. While it’s a comeback for Tate, the fight will be the final one of Reneau’s own career.
The 43-year old Reneau, who suffered her fourth consecutive loss this past weekend, against Macy Chiasson, released a statement regarding the bout on social media.
I will be finishing out my contract with the @ufc this year. I have been asked multiple times throughout this joinery (sic) when I plan on retiring. Every time, my answer was the same, “I will KNOW when it is time.” I can’t really put a finger on what draws me to this conclusion but… it’s here.
All I know is it was IMPORTANT for me to go out on my own. So thank you @danawhite and @mickmaynard2 for believing I WILL BRING EVERY LAST FUCKING THING I HAVE IN MY LAST AND FINAL FIGHT WITH YOUR ORGANIZATION.
I have fought every last person you have put in front of me. Multiple title contenders and former champions! I welcome my next and final challenge.
To the fans, man, humbly, thank you! I have had the great pleasure of getting to know many of you on a more friendship basis and I am truly fortunate! I hear you! Now, LET’S GO MAKE SOME NOISE ON THIS LAST FIGHT OF MINE!
Miesha Tate last competed at UFC 205 in 2016, losing a unanimous decision to future title challenger Raquel Pennington. One fight prior, at UFC 200, she had lost her bantamweight title to current champ (and now double-champ) Amanda Nunes.
Tate, now 34, captured the title at UFC 196, submitting Holly Holm by rear-naked choke. Tate was a trailblazer for female fighters in mixed martial arts, rising to the top of Strikeforce, and becoming one of the biggest female stars in the UFC before her retirement. Since wrapping up her fighting career, Tate has served as a Vice President for UFC rival ONE Championship, at one point making the move to Singapore to work with the company.
Speaking to ESPN ahead of the announcement regarding her return to the octagon, Tate stated that “My heart is full of passion, the fire has been lit!” and that “The sport has been calling for me, it’s time I answer.”