resh off her dramatic victory over Holly Holm four months earlier to capture the UFC women's bantamweight title, Miesha Tate was given a prime slot for her first title defense on the landmark UFC 200 card in Las Vegas.
Little did Tate know that 24 hours before her bout against Brazilian challenger Amanda Nunes, she would be elevated to the main event of the biggest card in UFC history (after battling through a brutal weight cut just to be there).
ESPN.com went behind the scenes with Tate, 29, from her training camp in Las Vegas to her upset loss on fight night.
Tate takes down training partner Gustavo Lopez during a workout. Lopez will help work Tate's corner during her first title defense at UFC 200 against Amanda Nunes.
Tate takes direction from her MMA coach, Robert Follis, during training camp. Of the coaches on her training team, Follis has been a constant who can bring out the best in his fighters, including Tate.
Realtor Annie Nicksick works with Tate and her boyfriend, Bryan Caraway, to complete their mortgage application on a new home the couple plans to purchase in Las Vegas.
Tate climbs into a personal hyperbaric chamber for her one-hour-a-day session at her Las Vegas home. "I feel refreshed," she said, adding that it helps with blood flow and strains from everyday training.
Tate and members of her camp walk off a workout focusing on grappling and technique against the cage.
Tate enjoys a lighthearted moment with her cat and boyfriend at their home in Las Vegas. Caraway, who is one of her coaches, is also a UFC fighter and competes in the men's bantamweight division.
Tate and Caraway talk about everyday life and the temperature of the water in their hot tub while relaxing in the backyard.
Tate takes her place at the dais between Jose Aldo, left, and Brock Lesnar for Wednesday's UFC 200 news conference at the MGM Grand. Unknown at the time was that just two days later, Tate's bout would become the main event after Jon Jones was pulled from the card for a potential anti-doping violation.
Ten-year-old Ariana Lopez of Albuquerque, New Mexico, bursts into tears as Tate comes over to autograph her sign at the MGM Grand. "She is my favorite fighter," Lopez said.
Tate is led past fans by security and police in the MGM Grand lobby en route to a series of satellite television interviews previewing UFC 200.
Tate smiles after catching Follis in a submission attempt while grappling on the mat during a late-night workout. The workouts are a mixture of work and play, with Follis often breaking into conversation with anecdotes about his new kitten, including pictures on his cellphone.
Back at home on July 7, Tate enjoys a few spoonfuls of creamy cashew butter in her kitchen. She has a solid and well-maintained diet but is cutting back on sodium because salt holds water in the body. Cutting weight is a skill -- if not an art form -- for professional fighters and a necessary element of the job.
Tate packs up before beginning her extreme weight cut at Xtreme Couture MMA Training Center. She will finish the cut early in the morning in her hotel room at the Monte Carlo, where she will stay until after her title defense at UFC 200.
Coach Follis checks the starting weight to see how much work Tate, who needs to make 135 pounds by Friday morning, has ahead of her.
Dressed in three layers of clothing, including a sauna suit and sweats, Tate goes through the paces early in her late-night workout, aimed at shaving off the last few pounds. Tate's weight cut will last well into the night and start again before sunrise the next morning.
Lopez keeps the sweat from Tate's eyes with a towel as the weight cut continues. She will run, stretch, wrestle, shadowbox and lie under a covering of yoga mats in an upper room set at over 90 degrees to keep the sweat pouring from her body. There will then be hot baths in Epsom salts and more working out to keep a steady flow of water rolling as the pounds come off.
Caraway uses a cool hand to give Tate some relief as she waits for the water to heat up to 104 degrees with Epsom salts as it nears 2:00 a.m. at the gym on July 8.
After nearly six hours into her weight cut, Lopez feeds Tate ice as sweat pours from her body the night before her weigh-in for UFC 200.
After much suspense, just minutes before the 10 a.m. PT deadline on Friday, Tate smiles on the scale after finding out she made weight for her title defense against Nunes. Tate, who was covered by towels after stripping naked in order to make the weight, came in at 134.5 pounds.
UFC president Dana White separates Tate and Nunes as a shoving match breaks out during the staredown at the unofficial UFC 200 weigh-in later that day at T-Mobile Arena.
Tate gets her hair braided by a hotel hairdresser the morning of her first title defense, just 24 hours after finding out she was elevated to the main event.
Tate takes a deep breath as she walks to the cage for her title defense against Nunes, which is headlining the UFC's first card at the brand-new T-Mobile Arena.
Tate and Nunes grapple on their feet early in Round 1 of their women's bantamweight title bout.
Nunes, who closed as a plus-250 underdog, lands a stiff right hand to the face of Tate against the cage. Tate went on to suffer a broken nose as Nunes landed one clean strike after another.
Tate goes down for the final time following a short knee to the face in Round 1. Nunes instantly took her back before applying a rear-naked choke.
Referee Herb Dean attempts to separate the fighters after Tate taps out midway through the first round as the UFC women's bantamweight title changes hands for the third time in nine months.
White places the belt around the waist of an emotional Nunes, who is the UFC's first female champion from Brazil.
A dejected Tate exits the Octagon without her UFC title and makes her way to the locker room at T-Mobile Arena. Known for her resiliency inside the cage, Tate vowed during her postfight interview that she would bounce back from the defeat, saying, "I always come back stronger from these things. I will come back stronger, I promise you."
Tate faces reporters with as much grace as humanly possible while clutching a towel to her still-bleeding nose at the postfight news conference.
After the news conference, Caraway comforts Tate outside of T-Mobile Arena, with the skyline of the New York, New York hotel behind them.