It's been an interesting week for Bryan Caraway to say the least.
If getting called a "fag" by Nate Diaz, the outspoken former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight No. 1 title contender, wasn't enough, Cat Zingano recently revealed to Bloody Elbow that Caraway intentionally elbowed her in the back of her head at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale weigh-ins last month.
According to the camp of the current No. 1 women's Bantamweight contender, Caraway -- who dates former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate -- took the chance to give Zingano a good shot to the dome as he passed by the chair in which she was sitting the day before she was set to step into the Octagon to face "Cupcake."
Josh Ford, Zingano's nutrionist, had a firsthand view of the incident:
"I think it was a real bullshit move on his part. We're backstage and all the fighters are there. We're kinda tight on space because we were basically in the back where some magician does his shows. There is like two rows of chairs lined up and then a table where everyone is filling out their medicals. Cat and I are sitting in the front row and a couple guys from Gabriel Gonzaga's camp are on the other side of us. We're talking and I'm looking straight at Cat when I see this body coming down the row behind her. I didn't notice it was Caraway but there's plenty of room to walk by. As he gets closer to our chairs he flares his elbow out and pops Cat right in the back of the head. The first thing on my mind was, 'that guy just elbowed her in the head!' As I'm turning around to see who it was Cat says the same thing. I turn my head to look and it's Caraway! And then one of the other fighters, might have been Uriah Hall, sitting there says, 'hey! I think that guy just elbowed you in the head!' So it was kind of a big deal. Cat, being who she is, gets up and starts pacing back and forth. At first, my protective coaching instincts kick in and I want to go over and say something to him but we're backstage, it's the UFC. I wasn't going to go try to make a big scene. I just thought it was crazy he would take a shot at her. I don't know what the deal was. [Caraway and Tate] were both being real weird in the back. They're basically inseparable."
According to Caraway, the story is a bunch of "BS" and posed the question on his Facebook page (via Bloody Elbow) about the reason it took so long or Zingano and Co. to divulge details of an alleged incident that happened more than one month ago.
"This is a joke and a feeble attempt to jump on the bandwagon and get a little publicity. It's sad that someone would stoop so low. I know if someone elbowed Miesha I would say something about it right then not when conveniently there's a ton of media involved. Total lies and BS."
"It was a poor choice of words I got ahead of myself. I meant you have no tolerance for people who smoke weed knowing its illegal or banned and get in trouble for it. I have plenty of friends who smoke and they are great people. I personally just choose not to use it. Pat Healy is actually my bro and I felt bad because I didn't mean it that way. Sometimes I'm a knuckle head."
As far as the recent onslaught of hate coming his way, Caraway seems to be taking it in stride, saying eventually people will realize he is a good person. In addition, he reveals that despite all the brouhaha, taking a short notice fight at UFC 159, which took place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on April 27, 2013, was one of the best decisions he ever made.
"It was the best five-day decision I've ever made. There's going to be haters in this sport, but I know I'm a genuinely good person, and I know that's eventually going to shine through. People are going to start seeing my character and that I'm a tough dude. It does feel good to get recognition. It's welcoming."
Zingano went on to defeat Tate via third round knockout and earned herself a shot at the UFC women's 135-pound title and a coaching slot on TUF 18 opposite Ronda Rousey. And even though Caraway pocketed a retroactive $65,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus, it's possible that Zingano got the last laugh.
If, of course, the drama is over, which is a long shot at this rate.