A UFC woman’s bantamweight title fight between current champion Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano is now official for the co-main event at UFC 182 on January 3rd in Las Vegas.
The fight had originally been set all the way back in April of 2013 after Zingano defeated Miesha Tate, earning not only a title shot, but also a chance to coach opposite the champion on TUF. However, Zingano then suffered a knee injury that required surgery which forced her out of both opportunities.
Things went from bad to worse for Zingano when at the turn of the year her husband, who also served as her coach, committed suicide, further setting back her return to the Octagon.
The UFC stuck by Zingano though, holding her place as the division’s No.1 contender, and after she made her return to action in September with a third round TKO victory against Amanda Nunes the path was finally clear for her to fight for the title.
Meanwhile, Rousey has continued to be an unstoppable force in the division, now 10-0 in her mixed martial arts career to date, claiming three successful title defences during Zingano’s absence against other leading contenders Miesha Tate, Sara McMann and Alexis Davis, the latter of which lasted just 16 seconds.
There had been talk that Rousey could fight Gina Carano next, but despite Dana White initially being bullish that a deal would be done, last month he declared her to be, “the hardest human being we’ve ever dealt with,” placing the blame on the Hollywood agents who run her career.
UFC 182 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, and with Rousey Vs Zingano installed as the co-feature this event looks like a great way to kick off 2015.