NEW YORK — There are a few fights that interest Miesha Tate moving forward. Her first pick for an opponent would probably be Gina Carano if Carano signs a deal with the UFC. Then there’s Sarah Kaufman, who has been trying to engage Tate in a Twitter war recently.
Another potential foe she’s had her mind on lately, though, is Cat Zingano. The two have already fought, with Zingano winning by third-round TKO in April 2013. But Tate harbors some ill will toward Zingano, because of lies she believes Zingano has spread about Tate’s boyfriend Bryan Caraway.
About a month after the two fought, Zingano told Bloody Elbow that Caraway elbowed her in the head at weigh-ins a day prior to the bout. Tate is still angry that Zingano accused Caraway of striking her.
"I don’t believe it happened at all," Tate said Monday at the EA Sports UFC Times Square takeover event to promote the new game’s release Tuesday. "But if it did, it was someone else. At the very, very worst, maybe he bumped her as he walked by. But it was not intentional. He didn’t just go ‘Bam!’ I mean, c’mon. What we have to gain by that, except being called a woman beater?"
Tate is offended that people would think she would remain with Caraway, who she has been with for eight years, if he abused women. Caraway is also a UFC fighter and competes in the bantamweight division.
Miesha Tate (right) and boyfriend Bryan Caraway pose for a picture at the Maxim Hot 100 banquet.
"I know Bryan," Tate said. "Obviously, I would never be with someone who’s a woman beater. I’m a pretty f—ing strong-headed woman and there’s no way. I would kill him in his sleep if he ever thought of it. I would straight up kill him. People saying that blows my mind."
While Tate is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, fans have not warmed to Caraway for various reasons. Two years ago, he tweeted that he would knock Ronda Rousey’s teeth down her throat, which he has since apologized for multiple times. Then there was the accusations from Zingano and at UFC Fight Night Albuquerque two weeks ago it appeared Caraway might have fish-hooked opponent Erik Perez. He said it was unintentional and the incident did not lead to Caraway’s second-round submission victory.
Zingano spoke about getting elbowed around the same time Caraway was given a Submission of the Night bonus that was initially awarded to Pat Healy. Healy tested positive for marijuana after that UFC 159 card and UFC president Dana White gave the $65,000 to Caraway for his submission on the same card.
"I feel like she just jumped on that train," Tate said of Zingano. … "As an adult if that would have happened, I would have said something right then and there."
Zingano earned the No. 1 contender spot when she beat Tate, but hasn’t gotten the chance to cash it in against Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Zingano tore her ACL last summer and her husband and trainer, Mauricio, committed suicide in January.
Zingano has recently returned to training after the injury and tragedy and is targeting a September return. That is also when Tate, who is coming off a win over Liz Carmouche in April, would like to fight again.
"I know that she does deserve a shot at the title," Tate said. "However, being out for so long it might be a good idea for her to take another fight regardless anyway. If she thinks she can beat Ronda, then she thinks she can beat anyone else, too. For her, it should be a no-brainer."
Tate knows she and Kaufman will end up fighting again at some point, so she isn’t necessarily in a rush to do it this year. Kaufman and Tate have bickered a bit on Twitter, but Tate said she doesn’t want to get into a "petty" beef on social media. She called out Kaufman (and others) after beating Carmouche on FOX UFC Saturday in April.
"I’ve said it where it matters," Tate said. "She said it in a tweet and then acts like I’m the one that’s scared to fight her. No, I said it on national TV. I want to fight you and I’m going to fight you."
Tate said she thinks Kaufman is "trying to stay relevant and I think that’s why she’s calling out girls who have way bigger names than she does." Kaufman beat Tate in Strikeforce, but that was when women competed with three-minute rounds instead of the standard five. Tate thinks she would win this time around, but isn’t sure what a victory over Kaufman would really get her.
.@MieshaTate@jisthrough2 interesting that this is what you respond to. You publicly call me out then seemingly run away