A Cat Zingano knee injury has opened the door to the most-anticipated rematch in women’s MMA history.
Miesha Tate will now coach opposite UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on the 18th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the promotion announced Tuesday evening. Zingano suffered a serious injury earlier this month, which forced her out of the reality show and eventual title fight against Rousey in December.
As a result, Tate will now get a chance to avenge last year’s loss to Rousey following the taping of the show. TUF 18 premieres Sept. 4 on the new FOX Sports 1 cable channel.
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Zingano underwent surgery on her right knee on Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, as well as to clean up other damage. Zingano, who defeated Tate on April 13 to earn a shot at Rousey and a coaching spot on the show, is hoping to resume training in six-to-nine months, and according to the same report, has been promised a title shot upon her return.
Rousey was reportedly told of the switch during the show’s first day of filming on Tuesday. When Tate appeared on the set, Rousey thought Tate was replacing her on the show and stormed off. She was then notified that it was Zingano who was being replaced.
“This is what we really wanted all along,” Rousey told Yahoo! Sports. “Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other and this is a personal show. For some reason, I me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that.
“I think people will look back at this as one of monumental rivalries and look back at this as one of those things that really cemented women’s MMA.”
Tate was scheduled to fight Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX 8 in July. Carmouche has yet to receive a new opponent.
No specific date has officially been announced for Rousey-Tate rematch. Rousey defeated Tate to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title in March 2012. She won her UFC debut against Carmouche in February via first-round armbar.