Miesha Tate Defends Boyfriend Bryan Caraway from Fish-Hooking Claims

John HeinisSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2014

Miesha Tate, left, and Liz Carmouche fight in a mixed martial arts event on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at UFC Fight Night in Orlando Fla. Tate defeated Carmouche. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Reinhold Matay/Associated Press

Former UFC women's bantamweight title challenger Miesha Tate is adamant that her boyfriend Bryan Caraway fought a clean fight at UFC Fight Night 42 on Saturday, despite a controversial illegal move that many felt was blatant. 

On her Facebook fan page, "Cupcake" explained that the notion that Caraway used a fish hook to set up the fight-ending rear-naked choke against Erik Perez is completely absurd. 

Tate also posted a video from the Facebook group MMA Overdose, which shows a 58-second clip of the end of the fight. 

The clip certainly appears to show a clean finish, though certain angles where Perez's neck is being cranked are obscured by the camera. 

However, this clip posted by YouTube user, "piatraelfa," does indicate that at least one instance of the fish hook, where someone controls the head by sticking their fingers into an opponent's mouth and pulling, occurs in the first round. 

The question remains if this move, sometimes seen in amateur wrestling, occurred more than once in this bout. 

Earlier in the week, also on Facebook, Caraway said he apologized to Perez when he was told of the fish hook, but maintains it was an accident and had no role in the way the fight concluded. 

Facebook screencap

Whether one agrees with the explanation or not, Caraway has now won five of his past six fights via submission and is now No. 10 in the UFC's official bantamweight rankings.  

On the other hand, Perez is now 4-2 in his last six Octagon appearances, though he is just 1-2 in his past three matchups. 

Additionally, Tate, a former Strikeforce champ, awaits her next fight pairing after winning a hard-fought decision over fellow ex-title challenger Liz Carmouche at UFC on Fox 11 in April.

Does the fish hook explanation from the Caraway-Tate camp hold water or was the illegal move an obvious, intentional and flagrant foul?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.