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Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Was Reportedly Too Hardcore for the Swedes

(She’s a witch! Burn her! BURRRRRRN HERRRRRRRRRRR!!! / Photo via Fight! Magazine)

So here’s a weird little tidbit: The UFC’s next women’s bantamweight fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano was originally supposed to serve as the co-main event for UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi (April 6th; Stockholm, Sweden), but it was reportedly sunk due to political concerns, and the matchup was moved to the TUF 17 Finale. After Ariel Helwani first mentioned the date-switch, Fighters Only followed up with more details:

The fight was pulled because it was felt by Garry Cook, the UFC VP in charge of UK and European operations, that it wasn’t suited to the Swedish audience.

Sweden is a new market and there is still some considerable opposition to the UFC among that infamously liberal and ‘progressive’ nation’s press. Politically it is a very left-wing country and it was only in 2007 that a 1970 ban on professional boxing was lifted.

Alexander Gustafsson has spearheaded the charge into what has proven to be an unexpectedly lucrative market for the UFC, but the potential for the national press to dislike or misinterpret a women’s fight was felt to be too high to risk.

For the fight to turn out to be a bloodbath would have been especially damaging…A new co-main has not been announced for the Stockholm card, but the mood on the messageboards among Swedish fans is generally one of relief that the female fight was scrapped — and not just because of the risk it poses to the sport. Progressive as they are, it seems even the Swedish fans [aren't] particularly excited about female MMA either.

In general, Swedish support for the UFC has been fantastic so far — which makes this story even more disheartening. Keep in mind that Sweden is a country that invented a new pronoun to promote their oddball obsession with gender-neutrality. The most recent World Economic Forum report on global gender equality ranked Sweden #4 in the world out of 135 countries; the U.S. landed at a totally respectable #22. So to summarize, gender-differences don’t exist in Sweden — except in the context of cage-fighting, in which women are delicate flowers that need to be protected by men who know better.

I’m actually skeptical about this whole story, to be honest. You can look at MMA message boards in any country and find pockets of fans who don’t care for women’s MMA, and there are newspaper editorial writers in every major city who would declare a bloody fight between two women to be the end of modern civilization.

When Garry Cook made the decision to move a female fight off of UFC on FUEL 9, he had these concerns in mind. (And hell, I’ll just say it — maybe his own tastes were a factor as well.) But instead of presenting a great matchup to a crowd of enthusiastic UFC fans, he buckled under the pressure. Sure, some of those Swedish fans might have been disgusted or disinterested in Tate vs. Zingano. But maybe the fight could have helped change some perceptions.

Cagepotato Comments

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jolyqw- February 22, 2013 at 11:07 am
until I looked at the draft which was of $7849, I be certain neighbours mother was like realy making money in there spare time at their laptop.. there mums best friend started doing this 4 only 20 months and just took care of the depts on there house and purchased a gorgeous Chevrolet Corvette. read more at,
Thumblaster- February 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm
Check that I did'nt know they are meatballs , like meatballs.
Thumblaster- February 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm
Oh , swedens great, I did'nt know they considerd it rape if the girl is to drunk to say no what a great country. And by the way svensa kottbular what ever the fuck that is licks my sack.
deadw8- February 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm
You should educate yourself a little before letting the hate fly with angled numbers.
Sweden has a much more broad definition of rape, for example it's still a rape if it occurs while you are married or if the girl is extremely drunk and not able to say no. Swedish rape laws are much harsher than say Uk's, Germanys or even Us laws and therefore it will be statistically higher.

And btw -Svenska Köttbullar rules.
Mr_Misanthropy- February 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm
What, no mention of meatballs?
El Guapo- February 19, 2013 at 11:14 am
Softcore Meisha would be fine by me, you guys.
Don't get me wrong, I'd very much prefer to see Meisha do hardcore but we don't always get what we want in life, do we now? Wait, are we talking about fighting or "acting"? Cause if it's fighting I don't wanna see Meisha do any more hardcore. When she got her arm snapped by Ronda it's like the urge to watch porn immediately left my body. Which is weird because they were fighting. Nevermind.
Mr_Misanthropy- February 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Thank you for sharing your complex emotional reaction.
El Guapo- February 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm
No need to thank me, just sharing my story is all. I'm hoping to inspire others to overcome their addiction to hardcore and open their eyes to the wonderful world of softcore women's MMA.
johnny6pack- February 19, 2013 at 9:25 am
This has nothing to do with Sweden's place on the political spectrum, rather the UFC's perception of the reception of a women's fight. New York qualifies as liberal and progressive, but they still have a ban on MMA... for now.

The rate of assault is also no indication of a nation's political leanings, Null Kuhl.

How the hell do you come to these conclusions?
Null Kuhl- February 19, 2013 at 9:45 am
If you look at the end of the report I posted, you'll notice a chart displaying "Punitivy Ratio", or a contrast of "the number of people convicted in a year with the number of prisoners in jail as a result of a court sentence." In this chart, Sweden is 4th from the bottom. It is not a stretch to conclude that a nation with a lower punitivity ratio is generally going to have an inversely high crime rate (as evidenced in this case by Sweden). The punitivity ratio of a nation is directly related to its political leanings, or its laws. This isn't some sort of logical leap.
Null Kuhl- February 19, 2013 at 9:46 am
*"Punitivity Ratio"
Null Kuhl- February 19, 2013 at 8:55 am
Ah yes, Sweden, such a "progressive" nation with its 2nd highest rankings in the MOST RAPES and MOST ASSAULTS in the world per capita. They don't care what gender you are, they'll gladly assault and rape you! Don't believe me? hxxp://
plop- February 19, 2013 at 9:41 am
sweden's rape statistics are so high because they have a much higher incidence of reporting (& more rigorous recording of) sexual violence than pretty much any other country in the world. probably to do with the fact that they also have some of the highest conviction rates in the world. swedish tourist board out.

garry cook is a massive bellend though for real
Pen Fifteen- February 19, 2013 at 8:46 am
Who gives a shit? Women's MMA is no different from all the other women's sports I don't want to watch. It drives me bonkers that this article was undoubtedly written by a man, knowing he's writing for a readership that will make sammich jokes at the drop of the hat, yet there is not a hint of sarcasm or irony to the whole "gender equality" angle.

If we're going to really stamp out gender differences, let women compete against men on the basis of weight class. What's that? You mean you ARE willing to acknowledge that biologically determined sexual differences matters in certain cases? That's what I shut the fuck up.
Fried Taco- February 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm
I think it would only be fair if they didn't count the weight of their boobs. So the women would weigh-in, and then weigh each boob and subtract that from the total weight to come up with the equivalent weight class they would compete in with men. I know it sounds complicated, so I'm offering to help with the weigh-ins to make it go harder, er, I mean smoother.
Mr_Misanthropy- February 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm
Well, I have heard they have uteruses...
SumDumGuy- February 19, 2013 at 8:29 am
Change "reportedly" to "supposedly" since this is the result of UFC making assumptions about one of the most progressive nations on earth and not so much actual fact...
ksgbobo- February 19, 2013 at 8:14 am
I like the
deadw8- February 19, 2013 at 8:05 am
This is such bullshit! We (the swedish) have had several women fights at our own galas (both at The Zone and Superior Challenge) and not once have I seen the "left-wing" press talk about it like it's any worse than male fighting. Sweden is largley considerad to be one of the most if not the most gender-equal country in the world but we can't handle a high profile womens-fight?
Fried Taco- February 19, 2013 at 7:49 am
I think the Swedes' real issue is the fact that they are brunettes.