UFC 200 Breakdown: Miesha Tate vs Amanda Nunes

Miesha TatePrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at one of the three championship fights at UFC 200 as Miesha Tate puts her bantamweight championship on the line against Brazilian Amanda Nunes.   Amanda Nunes (Record: 12-4, +220 Underdog, Fighter Grade: B+) The 28-year old Salvador, Bahia, Brazil-born bantamweight enters her first ever UFC title fight on a three-fight winning streak highlighted by a submission win over Sara McMann. Her last loss was in 2014 to fellow UFC 200 fighter Cat Zingano. In the women’s bantamweight division, there aren’t many knockout threats. With that said, Amanda Nunes may be the most feared striker in the division. Of her 12 career wins, 9 of them have come by knockout. She’s big for the weight class with a 69 inch reach and uses her size well to wind up and land heavy strikes. She can absolutely knockout an opponent on the feet, but where she does her best work is on the ground from top control. Nunes averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes in the octagon and succeeds in scoring takedowns at a 38% clip. From her solid wrestling game, she has excellent ground and pound. She does a very good job at advancing positions to allow herself an opportunity to wail down on her opponent from top control to have an opportunity at a stoppage win due to strikes. Nunes is excellent in the first round of fights and is typically able to start off with a lead in her bouts. What has held her back in the past has been conditioning. She slows down significantly in the second round and is running on empty in the third round. In every single third round she has been in during her professional career, she has been out struck decisively. It’s difficult to imagine she’s improved her conditioning to be able to go five rounds.   Miesha Tate (Record: 18-5, -260 Favorite, Fighter Grade: A) The long time high level bantamweight enters UFC 200 off the biggest victory of her career. In a fight she was losing heading into the fifth round, Tate was able to take Holly Holm to the mat and submit in her the final round to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. UFC 200 marks Tate’s first championship defense. When looking at Miesha Tate, she doesn’t have a physical appearance that threatens people. It’s her determination that is her biggest asset. She has a never say die attitude and is as resilient as they come inside the octagon. She may take some damage on the feet, but she works to push the pace of her fights and has readily been able to find ways to get her fights to the mat. On the ground, she is excellent at maintaining positions and wearing out her opponents. Whether it’s by ground and pound or submission attempts, she really makes her opponents work. Tate’s conditioning is excellent and tends to get better as her fights progress.   Match-up An interesting clash of styles highlights the women’s bantamweight championship fight at UFC 200. If Amanda Nunez is going to beat Miesha Tate, she’s going to need to blitz her and lay it on the champion before Tate has a chance to get in the fight. Nine of Nunez’s twelve victories have come inside the opening round of her fights, so she’s certainly capable of a quick and decisive win. What she’s facing in this fight though is a strong, determined, and battle tested veteran who is as crafty as any fighter in the division. It takes a heck of a lot to finish Tate and to finish her early. Holly Holm didn’t have what it took to finish Tate and it took Rousey three rounds to finish the champion in their last meeting. I expect Tate to fight smart and avoid the heavy strikes early in the fight. As the fight moves beyond the first round, look for Nunez to tire and for Tate to take over. If this fight even gets to a third round, Nunez will have nothing left for the champion. A tired Nunez will not be able to prevent Tate’s takedowns and the champion will dominate her challenger on the ground latching in a submission win to retain her title. At (+130) this is a solid prop worth playing. It’s very difficult to see Nunez being able to go 25 minutes given her cardio issues in previous fights.

Written by Jay Primetown

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