Yahoo! Sports Special: Ronda Rousey Shocked, Miesha Tate Replaces Injured Cat Zingano on TUF

May 28, 2013
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The following article was written by Kevin Iole and originally published by official MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo Sports.

Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey - StrikeforceFilming began Tuesday for Season 18 of the UFC’s reality series The Ultimate Fighter with a gigantic and unexpected switch.

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.

Rousey, though, was pleased with the change.

“This is what we really wanted all along,” Rousey told Yahoo! Sports. “Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other and this is a personal show. For some reason, me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that.

“I think people will look back at this as one of the monumental rivalries and look back at this as one of those things that really cemented women’s MMA.”

Tate was disappointed that it took an injury to Zingano for her to get the spot on the show, but she said she felt it was fate. She said she felt she was winning the fight with Zingano when referee Kim Winslow stopped it.

But Tate was thrilled to not only get the gig and the title shot, but to see Rousey get visibly angry when she appeared.

“It was rewarding to see that,” she said. “I was like, ‘Yay! This is getting good.’ I watched her go to her corner and her corner was up in arms. I was just sitting there in the doorway thinking, ‘This is awesome.’

“I felt I was cheated a little in that fight with Cat. I had two solid rounds and one not-so-good round. Either way, I felt I was meant to be here and it’s come full circle.”

Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter will debut in September on the new all-sports channel, Fox Sports 1, and will, for the first time, include women as coaches and females as well as males among the contestants, all vying for a UFC contract.

Zingano stopped Tate in the third round of their April 13 fight to win the right to coach opposite Rousey and get the title shot. The coaching slot and title shot – tentatively slated to be on pay-per-view on Dec. 28 – now goes to Tate.

Rousey won the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title from Tate in 2011 when both were in the now-defunct promotion. It was that fight which piqued UFC president Dana White’s interest in women’s fighting. To that point, White had maintained that the UFC would be men-only.

Zingano underwent surgery on her right knee on Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, as well as to clean up other damage. She said she injured the knee as she came down after clearing a short hurdle.

“I was doing my regular routine, my strength and conditioning,” Zingano told Yahoo! Sports by telephone shortly before she was wheeled into surgery. “I was jumping over tunnels that were about 12 inches high. I’d jumped over them like 10 times already. This one time, I jumped up and my left knee came down right on track and my right knee bent outward.

“Snap, crackle, pop, and I hit the floor. That was all she wrote. It was terrible. It hurt bad, but the thing that bothered me most was the sound. I never experienced anything like that.”

Zingano said she will be able to resume training in six to nine months. She said the most crushing part of the injury is that she will lose the opportunity to fight Rousey for the belt. She said White promised her she would have the first shot at the Tate-Rousey winner.

White said it made the most sense to put Tate into the spot rather than one of the UFC’s other women fighters.

“Miesha has the most experience,” White said. “She’d probably won the first two rounds of that fight with Cat and if it had gone to the cards, she’d probably have won by decision. The nice thing having Cat in there coaching against Ronda is that Cat was undefeated, and so we had this whole thing of two undefeated fighters facing off.

“But with Miesha, she and Ronda already had a great fight and they have a history together. They don’t like each other. We’ll make it work. We always do. You know how I say every day when I wake up, I know some bad [expletive] is going to happen? Well, this was one of them, but we’re doing the best we can here.”

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  • Zap

    i don’t buy it one bit. Kat got screwed here. poor girl

    • BBQ TRI TIP SANDWICH

      Agreed. Somethngs fishy here. “Its what we wanted all along.” How convenient. Phukin UFC and The Blobblehead are really taking a step back as far as legitimizing (sp?) MMA. All these back room WWF type stunts are lame. Oh well… If you reall are injured Cat, get well soon. If not………

      • James Tetrick

        AGREED! I think Dana realized what a stinker the show was going to be when Cat had that HUGE upset. I think he stepped in for ratings on the show and someone got some money exchanged to fake an injury.

        • BBQ TRI TIP SANDWICH

          I didn’t want to be the one to say it but you nailed it. Funny that we can hear about GSP getting a flat on his 10 speed but nothing about Cat? Doesn’t add up…

      • Sir_Roy

        Right. How do you figure they can punk the media for the full year, minimum, it will take Cat to recover from an ACL injury of that magnitude?

        There will be coverage on her recovery process … WMMA is too much in the spotlight right now, with Cat the #1 contender, for there not to be media coverage. You can’t cover up an ACL injury from your #1 contender. It’s next to impossible.

        These conspiracy theories are a little silly and shortsighted to be honest.

        • Maddawgmar

          Thank you. What do they think, that Dana conspired to have Cat tear her ACL. Damn morons probably got bored searching for Area 51 aliens

  • Cereal Killer

    Don’t care, won’t watch. I choose to watch MMA, not WMMA. No disrespect to the women, I just don’t have any interest watching them fight.

    • Martin Bean

      MMA isn’t gender specific. The women train just as hard as the men. It shouldn’t be some sideshow with it’s own name (reading ‘WMMA’ makes me wince). Men’s MMA doesn’t get called MMMA.

      • Sir_Roy

        That faux political correct bullsh!t is getting trite.

        It’s an acronym so he doesn’t have to actually spell out the distinction, nothing more. MMA was a male dominated sport. Women are relatively new to the scene, and so a distinction need be made.

        When we say hockey, or football, do you think about the NHL and NFL or do you think automatically of the CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League). We make the distinction by saying women’s hockey … and it’s perfectly OK to do so.

        • Orville

          Women are relatively new to the scene?>>>Where have you been dude.Womens mma has been alive and well for over ten yrs now, and goes way back with some great battles with the likes of Baszler, Larosa, Kedzie, Buckner, Damn, and the list goes on.

          • Sir_Roy

            “Dude”, women’s MMA is “relatively” new to the popularized scene yes. The injection of the word “relatively” is kinda key to grasping what was said. Relative to mainstream. UFC is the big leagues and women’s MMA has been NO WHERE near it, or popular media for the past 10 years. It’s only really exploded onto the scene in recent years. Thus women’s MMA is “relatively” new to popular mainstream in the sport.

            Damn, I thought obvious was obvious.

      • Cereal Killer

        WNBA? WPGA? You’re an idiot!

  • Johnny

    Cat got dicked… no pun intended; it is a buisiness but wow, sorry Cat, show will be better this way, but Cat earned it

  • aces

    like Ali & frazier, get real, Rousey is too full of herself, she can sure raise herself up, see how she speaks and stuff, everything is directed at herself, for her own glorification, Lol.

  • Christina

    I’m disappointed Cat is out. She earned the spot and the finale would have been a great fight. But Miesha certainly makes for the best replacement. Even tho they’ve already fought, the next match should sell even more tickets. The tension during TUF18 should high for the entire season. I expect a little shoving at least!

    • James Tetrick

      and that is why Cat is out and Miesha is in… I would be willing ot bet the ranch that Dana just saw a big stinker of a season and stepped in.

      • Sir_Roy

        How will Uncle Dana “fake” the number 1 contender’s ACL injury pray tell? How do you hide something like that from media hounds?

        Gimme a break.

    • Jholiday

      Maybe caraway has something to do with this again

  • Maddawgmar

    Meisha fighting Rousey again is like Bigfoot fighting Velasquez again. How about Sara McMann? Two Olympic Medalists and undefeated fighters for the Championship. Not really interested in seeing Tate get destroyed again.

    • JDMMA

      doesn’t sell… it’s all about $$$

      • Maddawgmar

        How does Tate sell more? Cuz she got her arm nearly ripped off last time? Cuz she her ass beat by Julie Kedzie, sneaking by with a submission? Or because she got beat by Cat?

        Again two undefeated Olympic Medalists fighting for a MMA Championship sounds way the hell better than two fighters that hate each other, one getting dominated the last fight.

  • James Tetrick

    Anyone who thinks this isn’t for the Show is clueless. No one knew who Cat was, everyone knew who Meisha. Unfortunately for the sport, Dana White doesn’t care that we all saw how far out of her League Tate was when it came to top tier competition.

  • James Tetrick

    Who in their RIGHT MIND thinks she ( Tate ) was winning that fight for the first rounds? Talk about a quick revisionist history of a fight that happened less than a year ago. Jesus just look at the bloody footage she was getting punked. I think the talent pool is not as deep as some thought… Tate is way out of her league against any top tier fighter.

    • BBQ TRI TIP SANDWICH

      Cat was mashing her. Was a legit stoppage. Tate wasn’t gonna win a decision any how.

    • MMAfan

      Is just business, makes $ense to have Ronda fight Tate. Funny is the argument of Dana white saying Measha was ahead on cards, Cat demolished her and Tate was a bloody mess, she’s just lucky to get that spot, as Ozzie Guillen said once “I’d rather been lucky than good”. Hope Cat can recover and fight Ronda.

  • julian moran

    I have nothing against women’s mma but Miesha Tate is not fit to be coaching any (male) fighter. She simply is not (close to being) at an elite level.

    • Maddawgmar

      Completely agree with you. Rousey, yes. Other than her the only ppl that should coach is either Sara McMann or Cyborg. We know Cyborg isn’t coming. But to be fair, neither is half of the coaches they have on the show. That’s why they have assistant trainers.

    • Mike

      and what makes you a cedible judge of what is, and what isn’t, an elite level female mma fighter?

    • jay

      this statement is retarded. A coach doesn’t have to be the best at what they do, they need to be skilled in teaching someone else how to be the best. Completely different things.

      • julian moran

        If your technique sucks, what are you going to teach?

  • john

    Rousey is one note does the same thing every time arm bar how lame learm some new moves i hope she gets her face smashed in

    • Lawdog1521

      If you know your opponent chooses to do the same thing over and over, like Rousey’s does, and she still can pull it off anyway, that in itself is badass.

    • poopturd

      and yet these fighters train for months and months for arm bar defense and still cant get out of it, so until someone can stop it she doesnt need to learn a new move. watch for the art of the sport not to just watch someone get beat up

    • Martin Bean

      Why? It works. It’s obviously something she’s near-perfected. Why try and finish fights with a move she’s less adept at than the armbar? She may as well give the fight away then.

    • Damian Parker

      there are only like 10 different ways to submit someone really if it’s getting boring to you don’t watch

  • Randi

    Rousey beat Tate and Kaufman. Kaufman beat Tate already and she won her last fight, while Tate lost her last fight. WTF!