LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White isn’t exactly a fan of referee Kim Winslow. That said, the UFC boss said he has zero issue with her decision to halt this past weekend’s Cat Zingano (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Miesha Tate bout (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
“She was in a bad position; I think it was a good stoppage,” White said of Tate. “People can say her hand was down and everything else, but she just ate six, seven, eight knees. It was time for the fight to be stopped.
Zingano and Tate met on the main card of this past weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale event. A slot as coach on “The Ultimate Fighter 18? and a shot at UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey hung in the balance.
Tate bagged the opening two rounds with capable striking and a strong wrestling game before Zingano charges back in the final frame. With time winding down, Zingano unleashed a barrage of knees that bloodied Tate’s face and left the former Strikeforce champ wobbled. As Zingano continued to press forward, Winslow stepped in and waved off the fight at the 2:55 mark of the third.
Tate later protested the stoppage, insisting she was still able to continue fighting. Some MMA observers also claimed the first knee strike was illegal, with Tate’s hand on the mat qualifying her as a downed opponent.
White said he believed the blow was legal and commended Winslow for stepping in when she did.
“Her hand might have been down for a second,” White said. “First of all, it’s a stupid rule anyway. It’s the dumbest rule in the sport, number one. Number two, the referee was right there while the fight was going on. Not that that’s one of my favorite referees – there’s a lot that that referee doesn’t see – but I do not agree that was a bad stoppage. It was a good stoppage. Was it illegal, what happened? If she saw it or didn’t see it, that fight needed to be stopped either way in my opinion.”
With the win, Zingano now receives a UFC title shot in her second bout with the promotion. Tate falls back in the pack, but White has often expressed his admiration for her as a fighter and isn’t likely to drop too far down the rankings. A rematch could certainly be in order at some point, but White simply doesn’t believe there should be any controversy.
“I’m not a big fan of the ref who reffed that fight; there’s a lot of stuff that that referee doesn’t see,” White said. “But I have absolutely no beef whatsoever with that stoppage.”
For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.
(Pictured: Cat Zingano)