LAS VEGAS, N.V. -- It took Miesha Tate all of a few seconds to protest referee Kim Winslow's decision to award Cat Zingano a TKO win midway through the third round of the pair's main card bout on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
After claiming the first two frames on two judges' scorecards, Zingano stole the victory, and with it a coveted coaching role on The Ultimate Fighter, with a late series of knees to Tate's head that brutalized the former Strikeforce champion. A frustrated Tate vigorously objected to the stoppage later on in the night, but more surprisingly, as did Tate's foremost rival.
"Miesha looked really good. I thought the fight was stopped, maybe, prematurely," said UFC bantamweight women's champion Ronda Rousey.
"But Cat looked amazing too. I don't want to take anything away from her. She was lighting [Tate] up. And if Miesha wants to complain the fight shouldn't have been stopped, she shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place."
Rousey and Tate have a long history dating back to the pair's days in Strikeforce, when Rousey dominated Tate en route to a gruesome first-round armbar victory to claim the Strikeforce bantamweight strap.
Since then Tate has consistently angled for a rematch, which she nearly got on Saturday night, catching Zingano in numerous tight positions but ultimately being unable to finish the job.
Although she agrees with her rival's protests, Rousey wasn't as sympathetic when it came to Tate's lost chances.
"There was some things that Miesha could've done better. She was in some really good positions that she could've capitalized on a little better than she did," Rousey finished.
"If I was in a similar situation, I think that it would've ended differently."