Noted striking coach Gil Martinez said he would like to work with Miesha Tate ahead of her March 5 title fight with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 196.
Why? Martinez believes he could teach Tate (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) the necessary striking skills to not only hold her own on the feet with Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), but also end the fight there if the opportunity presented itself.
“I’d actually love to work with Miesha for the next fight,” Martinez told MMAjunkie. “I think I could be a good part of her team and definitely teach her how to beat Holly.
“Sure, outstrike her and even knock her out. Anything can happen.”
UFC 196 takes place at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Holm vs. Tate co-headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Although both Tate and Martinez currently reside in Las Vegas, there’s no training overlap because “Cupcake” is primarily a student of coach Robert Follis at Xtreme Couture, where Martinez formerly coached. The lack of time with Martinez hasn’t been much of a detriment to Tate, though, it seems. She brings a four-fight winning streak into her title fight against Holm.
Regardless of how much Tate trains her striking, and regardless of whom she trains with, she’s going to have a difficult time making much ground on Holm by fight night. “The Preacher’s Daughter” is a multi-time boxing champion who has transferred her skills to MMA in an efficient manner.
Holm, currently a near 4-1 favorite over Tate, showed what she can do against an opponent who’s underprepared on the feet when she decimated former champ Ronda Rousey with her striking before scoring a second-round head-kick knockout to take the UFC belt from “Rowdy” at UFC 193 in November.
Tate possesses a completely different skill set, but it’s still unlikely her Plan A, or even Plan B, will involve standing with Holm for prolonged periods of time.
Could Martinez prepare Tate for that situation in the less than one month until the fight? Unlikely. However, Martinez said he would like the chance to find out.
“Anybody can learn how to punch, and anybody can learn how to fight,” Martinez said. “If you just put the time and effort into it, you’re going to get there.”