Marion Reneau

Marion Reneau: “I’m where I need to be, exactly at the moment I need to be here”

After 11 years as a professional mixed martial artist, six of which were with the most prestigious MMA organization in the world, Marion Reneau will fight her final fight…. and it’s a big one.

“I got the call three days after the Macy Chiasson fight,” Reneau said recalling how her scheduled July 17 fight against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate came to be.

“I told the UFC that I had one more fight on my contract and I would like to finish it off.  It would be my retirement fight.  This is something that I chose to do.  Nobody in my camp, not even my own husband knew that I had plans to do this,” Reneau stated.

The 43-year-old school teacher, nicknamed “Belizean,” amassed a pro MMA record of 9-7-1 over her tenure as a professional MMA fighter, and feels that right now is the right time to go out on her terms.

“In all honesty, it has been a whirlwind of blessings,” Reneau said in reflection on her career. “I think every fight, every coach, every training camp, has taught me some lessons.  I’ve developed a thicker skull, a better understanding for people, a better of myself.  I think all around, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me besides the birth of my son.”

The California native, Marion Reneau, has fought some of the very best the UFC had to offer to include two former champions Jéssica Andrade and Holly Holm, and four former title contenders in Bethe Correia, Cat Zingano, Raquel Pennington, and Sara McMann.

Despite the extremely impressive résumé, Reneau has never been finished in a fight.  In each of the losses on her record, Reneau has been able to take her opponent to deep waters and go to the judges’ for a decision.

“Well don’t jinx me now,” Reneau jokingly said about  the statistic prior to upcoming Tate fight. “You know, I don’t, honestly, I don’t go into a fight and think about that. You know what I mean? Think about the here and now. I just don’t think about now because it’s been brought up a lot and I was like, ‘Hey, stop talking about it.’ I don’t even allow my own corner, my own coaches to talk about it. I’m like, ‘We still have one more to go.’ And she (Miesha) is tough. She has knockout power. She’s a gamer. She presses forward. So like, that’s not talking about that right now. We still have one more in us.”

Tate is returning to the octagon for the first time since she retired following her UFC 205 loss to Pennington in November 2016.

Reneau states that when the UFC matchmakers presented the idea to her, she was told that Tate said she ‘would be honored’ to fight.

“I thought that was an amazing amount of respect,” Reneau said.  “And obviously I have a ton of respect for her in the game. I actually, though when I say this, people could take it wrong, but I grew up in the sport of MMA. Although I am older than her, I recognize that, I was watching her before I was fighting. I started later on in my life. I started when I was 29, 30 years old. So I grew up in this sport, watching the Miesha and actually wanting to fight her. So ironic how I say this, and I said it over and over, how things come full circle. And I feel like all the dots are connected where they moved to be. And I’m where I need to be, exactly at the moment I need to be here.”

Just as we saw Brandon Moreno achieve his dreams of becoming a UFC champion over the weekend at UFC 263, after not making it on the Ultimate Fighter and eventually being released from the promotion, Reneau too had a similar experience with being told she wasn’t going to make the cut.

“I remember that phone call,” Reneau said about trying out for the Ultimate Fighter and being told she was too old to make the cut.

“I was 36 years old at the time too. And it was just one of those things that they are just like, ‘You know, it’s not quite what we’re looking for.’ And I seen what they were looking for. I seen the girls that they were going to choose and I was like, ‘I can beat them.’ I was like, ‘no, don’t do this. I can beat them. I, I, I can do this.’ You know, just because I’m 36 and they’re like, ‘no, not at this time.’ And I was completely devastated. I almost quit fighting all together after that. That’s how devastated I was. And I just pull edmy head out of my butt, so to speak, and continued fighting.  I’d say six months later, I got the call to fight Alexis (Dufresne) first in the UFC.”

Reneau went on to win that fight by way of unanimous decision, followed by a submission victory over Andrade, before dropping her first UFC loss to Holm.

As of press time, the Marion Reneau vs. Miesha Tate bout is currently slated for the co-main event of the UFC Fight Night card.

Take a look at the lineup ahead:

Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez – 145 lbs
Marion Reneau vs. Miesha Tate – 135 lbs
Rodolfo Vieira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus – 185 lbs
Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moisés – 155 lbs
Mateusz Gamrot vs. Jeremy Stephens – 155 lbs
Ode Osbourne vs. Amir Albazi – 125 lbs
Khalid Taha vs. Sergey Morozov – 135 lbs
Guram Kutateladze vs. Don Madge – 155 lbs
Billy Quarantillo vs. Herbert Burns – 145 lbs
F. Figueiredo vs. Malcolm Gordon – 125 lbs
A. dos Santos vs. Miles Johns – 135 lbs
Amanda Lemos vs. Montserrat Ruiz – 115 lbs
Phil Hawes vs. Deron Winn – 185 lbs
R. Nascimento vs. Alan Baudot – 265 lbs
Daniel Rodriguez vs. A. Nurmagomedov – 170 lbs

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