While Holly Holm may have been ahead on the cards going into the end of her fight with Miesha Tate at UFC 196, but according to Tate, after round two, the stage was set for her to pull off the upset later in the fight.
Tate spoke about the fight during her appearance on The Fight Network this week.
“I think she just crumbled under the pressure when I took her down in that second round,” Tate told Fight Network’s John Pollock. “My coaches and Bryan [Caraway] actually told me, ‘She’s either going to stay down and be so scared about being submitted that you’re going to ground and pound her and beat her up or she’s going to try desperately to get up. Because your top pressure is so heavy she’s going to be forced to leave something out there and you’re going to grab it and you’re going to submit this girl.’
“We saw both cases. In the second round she stayed down there and took some heavy ground and pound. In the fifth round she definitely didn’t want to get stuck down there again so she tried to zealously get up and I saw the opening and I took it. We planned for that and we assumed that was going to happen.”
While the UFC brass has been critical of Holm’s decision to take a fight with Tate instead of waiting for the guaranteed immediate rematch money-fight with Ronda Rousey, Tate said that she admires Holm for making the decision.
“I think Holly took the advice of her coaches who she trusts with everything,” said Tate. “They said, ‘Holly, you’ve always been an active fighter. Let’s not change who you are now that you’re the champion because that’s when you’re going to lose sight of who you are.’ I think the idea was to keep her grounded just the same as if she wasn’t the champion. Fighting often, through the top 10 and I admire that. I respect that. I think that’s what any champion should do. She didn’t want to wait. She wanted to get in there and prove why she was the best in the world.
“It didn’t work out for her this time but that’s the mindset that makes a champion. You’re not going to win every fight in this sport but she has the mentality of a champion and that’s why she beat Ronda. If she would have said, ‘I’m not ready to fight Ronda’ she would have missed that opportunity. She’s just the kind of woman who wants to stay ready, be ready and she’s passionate about this. I have a lot of respect for her and I don’t think it was a mistake. I think she’s going to learn from it and she’ll come back better.”