The Strikeforce women’s bantamweight division continues to become more and more intriguing after controversial statements from champion Miesha Tate, former champion Marloes Coenen and potential future champion Ronda Rousey.
Statements from Rousey and Tate brought the subject of beauty over skill to the table in relation to championship aspirations. Both women agreed that the other is very attractive and that it likely played at least some role in the success they have had thus far.
But it was Marloes Coenen who brought it a step further when she called out Miesha Tate for being somewhat of a hypocrite, as a photo has been floating around the internet for quite some time of Tate in a thong, posing for the camera.
"You can’t present yourself the way [Miesha] presents herself and then expect to get respect as a fighter and as a good girl," Coenen told Full Contact Fighter.
However, Tate has since responded via Twitter, denying that the controversial photograph is even her in the first place.
This is the first time that Tate has spoken out regarding the photograph, even though it has been circulating around for quite some time. The women’s 135-pound champion did, however, have a suggestion for those fans who are interested in seeing pictures of her "other side."
This would not be the first time that someone has pulled the old "it's not me" routine, but upon closer examination, it appears as if Tate may have a legitimate claim. The photograph in question (which can be found by doing a quick Google Image search) does not show a great deal of the woman's face and, as Tate says, her physical condition does not appear to be that of someone who is a high-level athlete.
Each individual can be his or her own judge on what they want to believe in this case, but one should closely consider the type of damage that can be done to an athlete's persona when false accusations come out surrounding them. It's one thing when the allegations are true, but it's another thing when someone finds something that is completely untrue, such as this photograph, and presents it as fact.
Women's mixed martial arts still has quite a bit of growing to do, and every time that someone does something like this, it sets the sport back even further.