Miesha Tate was fully aware that she might be losing the fight against Holly Holm on Saturday night. She wasn't the only one, her cornermen were pretty sure she was going down too.
The only she was going to win, was to put everything she had into the 5th and final round. That's what her coach and boyfriend, Bryan Caraway, told her in between the 4th and 5th rounds: If she wanted the title, she was going to have to leave it all out there.
"I take their advice very seriously. Bryan came in there and basically told me you've gotta go guns blazing. He said risk it to get the biscuit, essentially. I knew if I had to risk getting knocked out at that point, that's what was going to happen."
Tate took her time and waited for the right moment to take Holly Holm to the mat. When the moment appeared, Tate seized it, sending Holm down and, in a flash, Tate took the advantage by getting Holm in a rear-naked choke hold. From there, it was all over for Holm.
"I Just had to hang on for dear life, essentially. So That's what I did."
It was pretty clear that Holm had won the first, whereas Tate took the second. Unfortunately for Tate, Holm dominated the 3rd and 4th rounds thanks in part to Holm landing a series of combinations with her lightning fast combinations with her side kicks and punches.
If Tate was going to win, her only option was to do Something against Holm in the 5th round. Otherwise, it would've been all over for her and yet another chance at the title would have slipped through her fingers.
"It feels like enough time, obviously. I made it happen. The thing 'bout me is that my mentality is it doesn't matter to me how down I get at any point in the fight. I've been literally knocked down and almost out of it and I get back up and I win the fight. It doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up. I think that's what a champion does."
This isn't the first time Tate has come back from behind to win a fight. She won against Sara McMann, Julie Kedzie and Jessica Eye. In all three of those fights she was suffered major blows and looked like she was down and out, but every time she fought back and won.
Tate's road to the belt has been a rock one. She had two shots at the title against Ronda Rousey and lost both. Tate was promised another shot when she beat Eye, but Holm was chosen over her. Tate understands now that she had to travel down that rocky road because it just wasn't her time to be the champion.
"I said that it felt like it was meant to be and it does. It turns out I like gold."
According to UFC President, Dana White, Tate will defend her newly crowned title against her old rival Rousey later this year.