Although Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche are taking part in the co-main event of this weekend’s UFC on Fox event, both women are in a must-win situation to salvage their careers.

It’s not often that a co-main event features a “make it or break it” type of fight, but that’s exactly where these two ladies find themselves.

Despite being one of the most popular stars in all of women’s MMA, Tate has to face the facts in the lead-up to her contest with Carmouche. The fact is that Tate has lost two straight fights in the Octagon. She arrived in the Octagon after a 5-1 run in the Strikeforce cage, but she fell via TKO to Cat Zingano and then came up short in her UFC title bid against women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. To make matters worse, she’s lost two fights—the UFC title bid and a Strikeforce title defense—to the current UFC champ. There’s also the fact that Tate was finished in all of those losses. Now, the former Strikeforce women’s champ finds herself in a precarious situation. She’s extremely popular, but it will be hard for the UFC to justify sending her out there if she suffers a third straight loss. There are male fighters who get cut after just a single loss, and the UFC has even parted ways with top-10 fighters coming off two or three losses.

Carmouche also finds herself in a dangerous situation heading into the UFC on Fox 11 event. Although she’s not on a losing streak, Carmouche has only gone just 1-2 during her UFC tenure with a loss to Rousey on her record. The other loss came to Alexis Davis, the woman who is now set to challenge Rousey for her UFC belt. Carmouche has always been a “jack of all trades” type of fighter, good at everything but not great at one aspect of fighting. It’s a skill set that has served her well when competing against mid-level competition, but once she faces the upper-level talent, it’s simply not enough. A fight against a declining Tate provides the perfect chance for Carmouche to prove her doubters wrong, but what happens if she can’t get past Tate?

That would be three losses against top-tier fighters of the women’s bantamweight division. One would have to assume Carmouche’s days as a title contender would be over.

Likewise, Tate would also be excluded from title consideration with a loss to Carmouche. There isn’t much the UFC could do with Tate outside of using her drawing power for Fox Sports 1 or UFC on Fox cards, or perhaps using her to build up the younger talent.

There is one saving grace for both women as they prepare for their showdown: the relative “newness” of the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Although these women have been competing for years, the division still feels new and fresh to many MMA fans. Those fans weren’t exposed to it prior to the shuttering of Strikeforce.

The division features either women who are on the tail end of their careers or fighters who are looking to make a name for themselves. It’s pretty telling that Tate is still ranked at No. 3 in the division despite losing three out of her last four fights. The UFC desperately needs talent in the division and could definitely use either Tate or Carmouche in the future. There’s just one problem. Will anyone be willing to buy what the UFC is selling?

In order for the answer to be yes, either Tate or Carmouche has to step up and start winning fights, beginning with the one this weekend.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.