(Not only did he charge little Billy twenty bucks for the autograph, but he also spelled his name “G-o-f-u-c-k-y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f.” Image via Caraway’s Twitter account.)
Okay, let me get this sentence out of the way as quickly as possible: Even though he expressed his opinion in a profoundly stupid manner, perhaps Nate Diaz has a damn good point about Bryan Caraway being a less-than-admirable individual.
I’ll give you a few moments to let that sink in.
(What, were you expecting something different?)
I’m not here to fault Caraway for accepting Pat Healy’s UFC 159 Submission of the Night bonus after Healy failed his drug test – even though he was obnoxiously self-righteous about it – because if my boss offered me sixty thousand dollars I wouldn’t exactly turn it down. But allegations of hitting a woman and selling drugs? That dog won’t hunt, monsignor.
If you follow Caraway on Twitter, you’ve probably seen him tweet some rather unsavory stuff about Ronda Rousey. Well, those seemingly empty threats have recently taken a pretty dark turn. As Bloody Elbow reported yesterday, Cat Zingano now claims that during the weigh-ins for her TUF 17 Finale clash against Meisha Tate, Bryan Caraway deliberately elbowed her in the back of her head. In Zingano’s own words:
I genuinely like everyone until I have a reason to dislike them. I saw [Caraway] all week, I smiled and was respectful. I get Miesha and not being bff’s fight week, I’m not fighting her to make friends. But as far a corners go, good fights are the product of well coached athletes, with heart & talent.
Brian smiled back in my face then elbowed me in the head at weigh-ins. I was pissed. I considered him in that same respect. I am a fighter all the same, but that was dirty and cheap to do to anyone, let alone a girl.
They were both in on it, which makes it even more disturbing. If my husband or son ever pulled something like that, I would be their biggest problem. I won’t be bullied nor condone it.
Zingano’s nutritionist, Josh Ford, offered a detailed account:
There’s 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 fromcamp 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 , sitting there says, ‘hey! I think that guy just elbowed you in the head!’
If the move was truly intentional, that’s some bush-league bullshit at best. Yet if you’re wondering why Zingano’s camp waited until now to come forward about this incident, Ford offered this statement:
At first, my protective coaching instincts kick in and I wanna go over and say something to him but we’re backstage, it’s the UFC. I wasn’t gonna go try to make a big scene. I just thought it was crazy he would take a shot at her.
Zingano’s wrestling coach, Leister Bowling, also described restraining Cat’s husband and training partner, Mauricio Zingano, after he found out about what happened:
I didn’t let Mauricio go back there. That’s his wife, you know. I told him I’d go back and check it out. I didn’t even give him the option. He was pissed. He took it as if some guy had just elbowed his wife in the head, like any man would. Whether it was an accident or not, I don’t know. I wasn’t there. A few people said he walked out of his way to bump her.
There are two sides to every story, but so far neither Caraway nor Tate have offered any comment on the situation.
Of course, if these claims aren’t bad enough, Bellator fighter Michelle Ould will have you know that Bryan Caraway’s “too cool for drugs” image isn’t exactly authentic. Okay, that’s technically misleading. After all, Caraway only claims to be against using drugs, not selling them, and Ould is accusing Caraway of the latter.
Shortly after Caraway accepted the bonus money, Ould had this to say on her Twitter page:
“Dude use to sell my ex roommate PED’s – but he hates weed – go figure.”
“Every1 either knows or has heard about it-it’s not a shocking secret or anything. Just shoulda kept that fake opinion quiet n takn the $” (Source)
“Has nothing 2 do w/attention. Just think it’s wrong Nate & Pat r dealin w consequences like men while this brats on his soapbox of denial” (Source)
Obviously, Caraway denies that he ever sold drugs and tweeted back at Ould that she just made everything up for the attention. Curiously enough, Caraway’s tweet at Ould appears to have been deleted, even though there was nothing particularly offensive about his rebuttal.
While both stories make Caraway sound despicable, keep in mind that we don’t have his version of what happened during the first accusation, and the second is essentially “Person on the Internet makes unfalsifiable claim.” That being said, have these incidents changed your perception of Caraway? And what kind of punishment – if any – do you think he should receive for elbowing Zingano?