The majority of people, including UFC President Dana White himself, predicted that Miesha Tate was a bad matchup for then champion Holly Holm. White actually blasted Holm's management for accepting the fight rather than wait for the rematch against Ronda Rousey, which would have reaped a bigger payoff. But it didn't play out as one-sided as many people believed. Holm was winning more of the rounds compared to Tate. She had some good takedown defense and pressed Tate to the fence more frequently. That's a sign of octagon control. She lost round 2 when she got taken down, but she defended the rear naked choke well there and survived. She made a little mistake in the final round which led to her eventual defeat.
Tate was a tougher matchup because she was patient and can mix up her takedowns. Rousey usually gets opponents to the ground via upper body clinches. Meanwhile, Tate can duck under strikes and take Holm down. She was also relentless in that final sequence. She held onto Holm like an anaconda and it paid off.
Holm will definitely grow from this loss. Styles make fights. It was a tough matchup but she held her own. That's a sign that she has grown a lot when it comes to mixed martial arts and that she's not just a kickboxer. Holm does not have the luxury to face Rousey all the time. Might as well fight a good wrestler now rather than later. She didn't shy away from a disadvantage and she deserves a lot of credit for it. After the loss, she wanted to fight Tate again, not Rousey. Money doesn't drive her; greatness does.
Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime. Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.