UFC bantamweight and number one ranked fighter, Cat Zingano, is well on the mend and will soon be fit for her Octagon duties.
“Alpha” sustained a serious injury to her right knee in May of this year, prior to her taking the TUF 18 coaches job opposite Ronda Rousey. Cat was subsequently replaced by Miesha Tate, the very fighter she had beaten to win the job (TKO round three, TUF 17 Finale, in April) and has been working her way back to active duty, ever since.
Zingano underwent surgery for her knee and then ancillary stem-cell treatments for the left, which she (sympathetically) injured while favoring the right.
As it stands, Cat appears that she’ll be ready to square off against the winner of UFC 168’s Rousey / Tate fight, and that if it were up to her, she’d prefer to fight Rousey.
As Alpha stated to MMAWeekly.com, “I’ve fought Meisha before and I beat her…and I’m ready to move on to what’s next. I hope Ronda wins, she’s a great champion and I really want to go out and fight that champion.”
From Zingano’s point-of-view and regardless of the bouts outcome, it’s a “win / win” situation. That although she’d love to fight an undefeated champion and someone of Rousey’s stature, she’d also be more than happy to greet Tate in the ring again, should that be how the championship bout breaks, on December 28th.
As to TUF and how Rousey and Tate have come across in terms of public perception, Zingano seems to think that Tate has gotten the better of it, but like most fans, she’s unsure of whether or not that’s a question of the show's editing.
Regardless of whether or not it is or it isn’t, Cat has a lot of respect for Rousey and feels that any imperfections are due to her passion for the sport, and nothing else. As such, Zingano “commends” Rousey for her efforts on the show.
In conclusion, fans will have to ponder UFC 168 and who they’d like to see win between Rousey & Tate. If Tate were to win, it would be a glorious upset and what some fans might see as a check on the champ’s ego.
However, a Rousey win would bring together the two most dominant female fighters in the sport, both of whom are undefeated and in winner takes all, “somebody’s 0s’ gotta go” bout. Not only is that a very interesting fight for consideration, but it's also a very marketable bout for the UFC.
In shine of it, the thought of a battle between two undefeated fighters, champion and number one ranked, who have a combined finishing rate of 94%, with the champ being perfect and the challenger only one bout off, it's a hard proposition not to value. And from the promotion’s POV, it would be the greatest fight in WMMA history and not only an easy sell, but also a very strategic one for the brand and the genre.