After initially announcing that Ronda Rousey would defend her bantamweight crown versus Cat Zingano on January 3rd, the UFC changed course and confirmed the fight will now take place on February 28th.
The decision surprised a few folks throughout MMA, since Rousey had relayed in the past that she was hoping to fight at UFC 182, which is the same night Jon Jones will battle Daniel Cormier.
At any rate, now Rousey will face Zingano at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and recently she appeared on “The MMA Hour” to discuss the fight. Rousey acknowledged that she wasn’t happy about the change, however, the California fighter is excited to be fighting in L.A. (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“It has always been a dream of mine to fight at Staples Center, and so that is the silver lining,” Rousey said. “I always want to do the Staples Center, I remember they days when I was cocktail waitressing and I was watching the Lakers play on TV and being like, man, I wonder if things would be different if, like, Luke Walton walked in here and asked me out and I would never have to cocktail waitress again. I was sitting there on a shady bar on Crenshaw thinking like, if the third-string player on the Lakers asked me my life would be different. And now I’m going to be one of the headliners at the Staples Center, it’s pretty ridiculous. It feels special, it really does.”
It’s going to be a star studded affair at UFC 184, as Vitor Belfort will also challenge middleweight champ Chris Weidman that night.
When asked if she was bothered by the fact that she and Zingano have co-headlining status, Rousey responded “not at all”, as headlining involves much more work (in terms of media obligations etc).
So, it will be interesting to see how Rousey looks on February 28th, as by the time she fights, nearly 8 months will have gone by since she took out Alexis Davis.
Zingano, meanwhile, is coming off a stoppage win over Amanda Nunes in September. The bout marked the first time she had fought since April, 2013, when she stopped Miesha Tate. At the time, Zingano was set to fight Rousey next, but a knee injured sent her to the sidelines for over a year.