UFC President Dana White has confirmed a bout between bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano at UFC 182 on January 3rd in Las Vegas.
Rousey will seek her fifth title against Zingano in a championship fight more than a year in the making. The 32 year old Zingano had her first shot at Rousey in April 2013 after a TKO win against Miesha Tate, but tore the ACL in her right knee in the following weeks.
Rousey, who is currently 10-0, is currently one of the UFC’s biggest stars and is coming off a 16 second TKO of Alexis Davis this last summer. Between UFC and Strikeforce, Rousey has exactly been challenged. The 27-year-old has finished each one of her career fights while only Miesha Tate has made it out of the first round against her.
Before Zingano emerged as Rousey’s next opponent, actress Gina Carano was in talks to fight, but negotiations fell through, leaving Zingano as the most deserving opponent. Zingano will likely be the underdog, much like anyone who faces Rousey, but has plenty of her own accomplishments. She’s 2-0 in the UFC after returning from her ACL injury in September. In her return fight, Zingano knocked out Amanda Nunes in the third round to re-establish herself as the number one contender in the division.
Both women have a win over fighter Miesha Tate. Rousey has defeated Tate twice, both times by armbar submission, while Zingano defeated Tate by TKO in the third round. “All of the ones they bring to me are legitimate challenges,” Rousey said. When asked about the upcoming fight, Zingano retorted “I’m ready. It’s my time. I’m ready.”
White confirmed to UFC that the bout between the two undefeated stars will be a co-main event, which will be co-headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.