UFC JULY 17, 2021
M. Tate (-130) Vs M. Reneau $$
The former woman’s bantam weight champ Miesha Tate makes her return to the octagon after a four and a half year retirement from UFC fighting, after starting a family and having two babies. She retired somewhat surprisingly after her second loss in a row that saw her look emotional drained and beaten down. Now she looks to return to her previous form and potentially climb back up the rankings.
When I first heard about this matchup, my first impression was why does Miesha want to do that? Fighters coming back after long absences historically do not fair well. Their skill sets can only deteriorate over time and it also prevents the fighter from developing new skills. Plus you have added obstacle getting back into fight shape. At age 34, Miesha would be considered old, but not yet over the hill in fight terms. There are many examples of fighters finding success beyond that age but it would be very difficult to argue that she will be better now than she was five years ago.
You can certainly argue that Tate has added new skills outside of the cage and has grown as a person. Motherhood and a solid marriage definitely appear to agree with Miesha and frankly she looks fully renewed and invigorated. I would not downplay these newly found emotional skills. She also has access to new training techniques and facilities that have improved in her absence.
But the key to victory in this fight comes down to opponent selection. Tate’s team and Dana White hand picked her opponent for this fight to give the highest chance for success. Her opponent is 44 year Marion Reneau who is on a four fight losing streak. They literally picked the worst fighter in the bantamweight division and offered her to Tate as a sacrificial offering.
Normally a four fight losing streak is enough to get you a forced retirement or a demotion to a lower promotion, particularly at the age of 44. It would be even harder to argue that Reneau a is better now than she was five years ago that it would for Tate. After age 40, speed and quickness can drop off quickly and she has never possessed the explosive power necessary to knock out someone with the heart of Tate. Also if this fight had occurred five years ago, Tate would have been a big favourite, much more so than just (-130).
I think Tate dominates this fight and likely gets a ground and pound TKO or a choke and sends Reneau into retirement. The more interesting decision will be if she will be content with a one off victory, or if she attempts to climbs back rankings to challenge for another title shot.
UFC 2021 Picks 10-5, +9.24 units
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