Every year the WMMA Press Awards committee honors a fighter, past or present, with the “Might Mia” Inspirational Fighter Award. The award is dedicated to “Mighty” Mia Hayes, a MMA fighter who battled breast cancer while still training and raising a growing family of foster kids. We lost Mia in 2011.
The “Might Mia” award is bestowed to a female fighter who has inspired people both inside and outside the cage.
The WMMA Press committee are a set of journalists that have covered the female divisions of martial arts for years on may different levels.
Six journalists who voted on the award:
- Gina Begley – Pro WMMA Now / Bluegrass MMA
- Charlie Jewett – CJ’s Report (covering Asian MMA)
- Yael Grauer – TheSportsPost.com
- MarQ Piocos – WombatSports.com
- Elias Stefanescu – Ground and Pound (Germany)
- Kristin Ursy – Women’s MMA Round-up
This year we honor Miesha Tate with the “Mighty Mia” Inspirational Fighter of the Year.
Being one of only two fighters to have held the Strikeforce and UFC titles, Tate’s career has been one of highs and lows. She started her career losing by KO to Kaitlin Yung, but soon worked her way up the rankings. After a loss to Sarah Kaufman, she went on a five fight run, which including winning an one night tournament to earn a title shot. She would defeat the legend Marloes Coenen to become the Strikeforce championship.
After her Strikeforce title loss to Ronda Rousey, she would pick herself up and get a win over Julie Kedzie.
After back to back losses, Tate would go in a four fight run to take the UFC title from Holly Holm.
Tate would retire this past November.
She also inspired outside the cage.
She saved the life of her boyfriend Brian Caraway’s mother when she had an athma attack and was unable to breath. (read more here).
She also helped a girl down a mountain after she broke her arm (read more here).
Tate has revitalized the Xtreme Couture’s women’s team after years of struggle and has helped multiple fighters for their camps, even if its not their home gym.
She launched a podcast this past year to explore her favorite topics outside of MMA.
The WMMA Press committee honors Miesha Tate with the “Mighty Mia” Inspirational Fighter of the Year.