Former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is facing a possible six-month medical suspension after reportedly suffering “bilateral nose fractures” and a “superior nasal septal fracture” in her defeat to Ketlen Viera at UFC Vegas 43 last Saturday.
It was only Tate’s second fight since coming out of retirement but after beating Marion Reneau in her comeback contest back in July, Viera proved to be too much to handle.
Tate was left with a visibly bloody nose by the end of the fight –– promoting Viera to apologise to her opponent, who she proclaimed as a “legend” of the sport.
To avoid suspension, Tate needs to receive medical clearance but the 35-year-old has a history of breaking her nose and has previously undergone corrective surgery for what she described as a “curvy” septum.
Prior to her retirement in 2016, UFC president Dana White said he advised against surgery before her fight against two-division champion Amanda Nunes and said he would pay for surgery after Tate’s career was over.
Tate retired later that year, after losing to Racquel Pennington at UFC 205. She stated: “I love you all so much, I’ve been doing this for over a decade. Thank you so much for being here, I love this sport forever but it’s not my time anymore.”
In March this year, ‘Cupcake’, as she is nicknamed, announced her return to MMA and has expressed a desire to challenge Nunes again for the bantamweight title later down the line.
Nunes is considered by many to be the greatest female MMA fighter of all time and is the first and only fighter in UFC history to defend two titles while actively holding them.
But a much-anticipated rematch between the two is not likely to happen anytime soon, especially with Tate’s potential suspension.
The term ‘suspended’ sounds worse than it actually is and it is common for fighters to be banned from competing for a specific period of time.
Medical suspensions can consist of two-time limits –– the first being the time before a fighter is allowed to spar again and the other before they are allowed to compete. Some suspensions can last as long as 180 days, while others are as little as a few weeks.
Though Tate will be disappointed to have lost to Viera, the former bantamweight champion revealed on social media that she didn’t enter the fight with any expectations.
Less than two years ago, Tate gave birth to her second child and is not in the same physical shape as when she was in her prime.
But the 35-year-old has said nothing to imply she is done with fighting for good. So, while a possible medical suspension looms, expect to see the MMA icon back in the octagon again.