Miesha Tate again claims early stoppage; referee Kim Winslow responds

USA TODAY Sports

Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has again alluded to an early stoppage in her last fight, a third round TKO defeat at the hands of Cat Zingano. This time, however, Winslow has explained her decision-making process.

The ladies brought it last Saturday night (April 13, 2013) on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale as Cat Zingano earned a title shot against Ronda Rousey with her dramatic come-from-behind third round TKO of former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate in a "Fight of the Night"-winning performance.

Of course, not all good things come easy.

Tate took to Facebook, posting a picture of herself four days out from the fight as well as writing a lengthy message again citing an early stoppage and hoping to one day get a rematch, this time without Kim Winslow as referee.

"Can't help my nose bleeds a lot still frustrated at the stoppage, think the ref freaked because of blood when she should have been focusing on the fact that I was still perfectly coherent and shooting for a takedown after two solid knees landed I was still in the fight and up on the score cards. Can't pay enough respect to Cat she's a warrior & I'd love the honor of fighting her in the future again but NOT with Kim Winslow as the ref."

The bout was stopped after Tate was blasted by three knees to the face from Zingano and then one more elbow for good measure, which sent her slumping to the canvas where she reached out towards "Alpha's" legs with a takedown attempt.

The referee, Kim Winslow, had seen enough and put a halt to the proceedings. Speaking with US Combat Sports, Winslow explained her decision.

"If I say ‘fight back you are in imminent danger of me stopping your fight and you have to give me a reason not to. If you respond to the command and show that you can intelligently defend yourself I will let it continue whether or not your attempts are successful. It is on you to continue to try until you are out of danger or the round has ended. When you stop attempting to get out of the situation or just go back to what got you warned in the first place it's your way of letting me know you have had enough and I am coming in to stop it. How much time I give you is always dependent on the amount of damage you are taking. Safety is the first priority and it's my job to make sure you come back to fight another day if you choose to."

Many have rightfully complained about Winslow's performances in past fights. Her stoppages have at times come very late and she's been prone to poor decisions, but the consensus among most MMA fans is this wasn't one of them.

What's your take? Was Tate "intelligently defending herself" when she reached out towards Zingano's legs after eating the big strikes?

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