Miesha Tate lost to Cat Zingano by third-round TKO at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 17 on Saturday and complained afterwards that the fight was stopped too early and that she was struck by an illegal knee.
Tate was in control most of the first two rounds of the fight. She repeatedly sought submissions in the second round — either by heel hook or armbar — but was unable to land either one. In the third round, Zingano came out and immediately got a takedown, and then dominated from top position. She nailed Tate with blow after blow to the face and body.
Halfway through the round, after receiving several blows to her face and nose, Tate fought to stand up. Just as she was standing up, Zingano nailed her with a knee that dropped her back to the ground. Tate fought to get back up again, but Zingano crushed her with three straight knees and an elbow to the head that forced the referee to stop the fight.
Tate may have felt the stoppage was too early, but I don’t. She was hardly able to defend herself and she was getting pummeled. I thought it was a good stoppage.
As for the potentially illegal knee, that’s a more legitimate point.
Under the “Fouls” section of the UFC’s rules, it states that you are not allowed to knee the head of a grounded opponent.
One could argue that Tate’s finger tips were touching the canvas at the time she was kneed, which would make the knee illegal. If it was illegal, it was by the slightest margin. I thought the rulings were fine.
To me, the biggest issue for Tate is her strength. She wasn’t strong enough to submit Zingano, and she struggled to get out from under Zingano in the third round.
Tate and Zingano earned Fight of the Night bonuses while Zingano will be a coach opposite Ronda Rousey on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. Zingano will face Rousey in a UFC title match.