UFC bantamweight contender Cat Zingano suffered a torn ACL and meniscus that forced her out of a coaching gig opposite champion Ronda Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter 18 and a title shot. When the UFC learned the news, they replaced Zingano with Rousey’s top rivaly, Miesha Tate. Rousey was unaware of the opponent switch until filming began for the new season of TUF, and her reaction gives us some insight on what to expect this season.
According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Rousey was very unhappy with the developments:
Unbeaten Cat Zingano, who was slated to coach opposite women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, injured a knee and was replaced as coach by long-time Rousey rival Miesha Tate.
Rousey did not know that Zingano was injured – UFC president Dana White said it had been a tightly kept company secret since Zingano injured her right knee during a May 16 workout – or that Tate had been brought in to replace her, until the opening scenes of the show were filmed on Tuesday.
When Tate came out, Rousey was clearly stunned and she stormed out of the UFC training center, searching for White. She later said she was angry because she thought Tate was replacing her.
The UFC can often be gutted by injuries, but this may be a case where it turns out to benefit them.
Rousey and Tate have an incredible rivalry and both women have charisma that is capable of carrying the show. Think of the buzz that TUF generated when they had Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson as coaches. These women have just as much animosity and they will make sure that everyone knows they do not like each other.
In their previous match, Rousey was able to defeat Tate by, you guessed it, first-round armbar, but Tate will be looking to redeem herself once the two meet inside the octagon.
This is a historic season because both men and women will be sharing the same has, and when you add the Rousey vs. Tate dynamic, you have the makings of television gold.
We wish Cat Zingano a speedy and full recovery, but TUF 18 is going to be just fine.