Bryan Caraway beat Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter Erik Perez on his home turf in the seconds round at UFN 42 Saturday night. The win vaulted Caraway four places in the official rankings, and into the top 10. Fans noticed that at one point Caraway appeared to fishhook his opponent.
One headline read "Bryan Caraway Fish Hooks Perez Before Choke." This is technically true, but entirely misleading. The fishhook took place in the first round, and the choke in the second.
While Perez has not commented, Jackson said he would give Caraway the benefit of the doubt; no complaint was filed with the commission. Further, Caraway, who enjoys a reputation as a clean fighter, apologized profusely.
That was not enough to stop fans from complaining vehemently however. Caraway's girlfriend, UFC women's bantamweight contender Miesha Tate took to her fan page, and offered an impassioned defense.
All you idiots running your mouths about bryan FINISHING his fight via fishhook need to be slapped! First of all he accidentally fish hooked Goyo IN THE FIRST ROUND AND FINISHED THE FIGHT CLEAN IN THE 2nd ROUND!!!!!! Completely unrelated!! Furthermore you can 100% tell the fishhook was an accident BC goyo was able to TURN AWAY from the fishhook which means Bryan had absolutely NO pressure on it aka HE WASNT TRYING TO USE IT OR HE WOULD HAVE RIPPED GOYOS FACE TO THE LEFT INSTEAD OF WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED WHERE GOYO TURNED AWAY FROM THE FISHHOOK TO THE RIGHT. and SHAME on Bjpenn. com for a misleading title implying the fishhook had anything to do with the finish. Lastly, GOYO confirmed he DIDNT even realize the fishhook had happened which also confirms there was NO pressure on it or he would have known it had happened. Show me where the "Fishhook" is in the finish? Ya that's what I thought
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Caraway's coach Robert Follis offered a similar criticism, in an interview with MMAJunkie.
“I think if it happened to anybody, it would’ve gotten a mention,” said Follis. “It’s an abnormal thing. But if a guy gets kicked in the groin in the first round and then gets knocked out in the second, you don’t see people writing headlines like, ‘Groin kick comes before knockout.’”
“It is accurate, but it’s very misleading. Had it led to the choke, then yes, it’d be a very different discussion. But it didn’t.”
”Some of it might also be just because he’s dating Tate in the first place.
“I think there’s some jealousy to it. You look at the comments and, right below the fishhooking stuff is someone going, ‘How is that guy dating Miesha?’ That’s just some insecurity and some jealousy from those people.”
“I’m looking at it like, who’s next? Who can we go and get another win or two against and be fighting for a title? I think Bryan’s an extremely talented guy, and whether fans like him or not, he’s going to win a title.”