It’s been a difficult few years, but it looks like Cat Zingano is finally in the catbird seat — one win away from a title shot.
UFC President Dana White told MMA Junkie yesterday that Zingano, who fights Amanda Nunes in a clash of women’s bantamweight contenders at tomorrow’s UFC 178 event in Las Vegas, will receive her long-anticipated bout against champion Ronda Rousey with a victory.
Zingano’s difficult stretch began shortly after her last Octagon appearance, back in April 2013. Following that night’s victory over Miesha Tate, Zingano was expected to appear as coach of The Ultimate Fighter season 19 opposite Rousey. The two were then to meet at the TUF finale.
But it was announced one month later that Zingano had been sidelined by a knee injury. She was replaced by Tate, who would be defeated by Rousey.
Zingano was later struck by personal tragedy when her husband died in January of this year.
A decorated collegiate wrestler and international jiu-jitsu competitor, Zingano has enjoyed an undefeated (8-0) MMA career — including a championship for Ring of Fire in her native Colorado, and “Fight of the Night” honors for the bout with Tate.
Nunes, of Brazil but fighting out of Florida, is 9-3 in MMA. Her last bout was an impressive TKO win over feared Dutch striker Germaine de Randamie last November at the UFC: Fight For the Troops event.
Zingano is as much as a three-to-one favorite to win.
Should she prove the oddsmakers right and defeat Nunes, Zingano would likely fight Rousey January 3 of next year.