Referee Kim Winslow Discusses Tate vs. Zingano Stoppage at TUF Finale

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIApril 18, 2013

April 13, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miesha Tate reacts to defeat by Cat Zingano during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

MMA referee Kim Winslow has taken quite a bit of flack lately. Miesha Tate was upset with Winslow's stoppage in Tate's contest with Cat Zingano on Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter finale and has been voicing her displeasure whenever she can.

We haven't heard much from the referee herself, but Winslow responded to Tate's jabs in an interview on the US Combat Sports website.

I will tell you what I tell ALL my fighters in the prefight one on ones. 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.

Here's what Tate said about the issue in the TUF finale post-fight press conference.

I haven’t actually had a chance to go back and watch it but Kate came in before we ever left the locker room that if I warn you to move all I ever need to know is that you want to stay in the fight, and I felt that I did that. I got from the bottom up. I got kneed a few times on the way, tried to shoot another shot and the fight was stopped. I, you know, I didn’t feel I was out of the fight but you know, what can I say?

Tate was upset, and to a point, I can see why. It can be perceived that she was shooting for a takedown as Winslow stepped in, and she clearly wasn't unconscious at the time of the stoppage.

Still, if you go back and look at the fight, Tate took an incredible amount of punishment in that short time period before she shot for a takedown and was dropped.

Tate worked her way back to her feet, but took a series of knees that landed flush on her face. Moments before Winslow stepped in, Zingano landed a nasty elbow.

Regardless of the stoppage, Zingano very well may have been on her way to a decision victory. After being dominated in the first round, she rallied in the final two to make a furious comeback for the victory.

Tate will be back in the Octagon for sure, as she's one of WMMA's most popular athletes, and Zingano will go on to coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter 18 against Ronda Rousey. The two ladies will square off after the show ends, likely in December.

For Winslow, it's another questionable stoppage that has become the referee's calling card. MMA fans certainly don't care for her, and it's clear fighters are beginning to feel the same. Winslow is approaching Steve Mazzagatti's level with the negativity from fighters and fans.