Report: Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano pulled from UFC Sweden card over political concerns

Saturday MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani tweeted the following bit of news Saturday: Mayday is now sitting where he belongs. Dana says no co-main yet…

By: Nate Wilcox | 11 years ago
Report: Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano pulled from UFC Sweden card over political concerns
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Saturday MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani tweeted the following bit of news Saturday:

Helwani is referring to Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano which will be on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on April 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada and not UFC on Fuel TV 9: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi, where it would have co-mained the card.

Fighters Only followed up with a very interesting, albeit unconfirmed, explanation:

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.

It’s very interesting that Cook’s, presumably accurate, assessment of the cultural mores of Sweden are so different than our current situation in the U.S. where Ronda Rousey’s upcoming UFC 157 bout has generated more positive mainstream press for MMA and the UFC than any development of the past five years.

If the report is true, Cook is right to be cautious. The UFC is doing very well in Sweden with men’s MMA, there is no reason to risk that expansion by being overly aggressive. We’ve seen before in Germany (where MMA was banned from TV after a UFC event got a lot of publicity) that progress in European markets can quickly be set back by upset bureaucrats.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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