Miesha Tate pushes for Zoila Gurgel to get better Bellator billing

Maggie Hendricks

Former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate is not afraid to speak her mind. Last week, she caused a stir when she said there are circumstances where it's acceptable for a man to hit a woman. This week, she's speaking up on behalf of Bellator flyweight champion Zoila Gurgel.

Despite holding a belt and fighting near her hometown, Bellator has placed Gurgel's non-title bout with Casey Noland on the untelevised undercard. For good reason, Tate was annoyed by this and tweeted Bellator president Bjorn Rebney.

Tate sent several more tweets like these and encouraged her followers to tweet Bellator and Bjorn Rebney until they put Gurgel on the main card. Rebney explained his reasoning to MMA Fighting.

"Zoila's been plagued by injury after injury over the last 19 months, having not fought since March, 2011," he wrote. "We felt that the best road back for her did not include rushing her into a major fight against one of the top-ranked women in the world. This is not a world title fight as it's made significantly north of the 115 weight limit where she holds our title. Depending on how Zoila feels and performs on Friday, we can then determine the next appropriate step back."

But that doesn't explain why a champion isn't on television. Brian Rogers is not in a "world title fight," nor is he part of the Bellator tournament bouts that will be aired, but he's on the televised card. When fellow champions Michael Chandler and Ben Askren fought non-title bouts, their fights were on the main card.

When Tate spoke on men hitting women who hit them first, she was railing against a double standard. It looks like she's still fighting one this week.

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