Former Strikeforce women's champion Miesha Tate doesn't generally hold back with her opinions. Or I should say, she doesn't hold back her opinions since she learned from Ronda Rousey that being outspoken can be great for your career.
Last week, Tate said it was okay for a man to hit a woman if she hits him first. That one is so dumb that I'm not even going to touch it. Let's move on.
Today, Tate is blasting Bellator for placing female 115-pound champion Zoila Gurgel on the preliminary card of the upcoming Bellator 78 card, which takes place this Friday night.
Seeing a champion appear on a preliminary card is a bit jarring, to say the least. So I understand why Tate's getting all worked up about the concept of putting a female champion on the untelevised prelims. It seems a little bit sexist on the surface, doesn't it?
But it's not sexism, not in the slightest. It's actually just revenge for comments that Gurgel recently made about Bellator when a 115-pound fight between Megumi Fuji and Jessica Aguilar was promoted as a bout between the two top 115-pounders in the world, essentially relegating Gurgel—again, Bellator's champion—to third or worst.
Gurgel got upset, and understandably so. But blasting your boss like this probably isn't the best idea (via mmamania.com):
"For my own promotion to kind of diss me like that, it's like, wow. It just puts the icing on the cake. I wasn't very happy about it. I kind of knew that they were going to do or say something, whatever they had to do to promote the fight. But to throw me under the bus like that, the way most people have said, it just wasn't very nice, and it wasn't very professional in my eyes."
So now Gurgel, who has been on the shelf for a year with an ACL injury, returns to the cage, and she's immediately placed on the preliminary card. It's pretty easy to see what's happening here, but Tate apparently doesn't recognize it (via mixedmartialarts.com):
"I cannot believe [Bellator] would allow [its] champion to be placed on the UN televised undercard in her hometown. A champion is a champion regardless if she is fighting up a weight, you use her image to promote the posters and then put her on the undercard?! Blows my mind. This is the 2nd time too you have done this I tell you what I would rather never fight MMA again then fight for u under @BellatorMMA banner…. The amount of disrespect you have given @ZoilaGurgel is disgusting."
Look, let's be a little bit more conservative with our usage of the term "disgusting." There are plenty of disgusting promotional tactics used in this sport on a weekly basis. Putting Gurgel—who, by the way, cannot remotely be considered a superstar or anything of the sort—on the prelims is not disgusting, especially when you consider the comments she made about Bellator after her feelings were hurt.
I'm all for champions being portrayed in a classy manner and placed in high places on fight cards. And I think Gurgel is deserving of a television spot, even if it's not in the main event. But when you lash out at your employer in public, it's not going to make them go out of their way to help you out.