On Saturday night, Zingano returned to action for the first time since last April, when she TKO’d Tate to earn a shot at Rousey. Zingano went down with a serious knee injury not long after, and because she was sidelined for so long, she was asked to reclaim her title shot. Zingano did just that by defeating Nunes.
Now, Zingano is expected to face Rousey at UFC 182 on January 3rd, and while Tate’s issues with Rousey are well documented, she believes her rival will win the bout. While speaking to Mixed Martial Arts.com, here is some of what Tate had to say about the match-up (quotes via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I think that Ronda is going to win the fight. Zingano starting slow two fights in a row is not going to serve her well with Ronda, who is a fight-finishing machine. She finishes fights in the first round. You can’t come out to a slow pace and expect to get out of a round with Ronda Rousey.”
“Her physical presence suggests that she is really strong, but I didn’t feel that during my fight with her. It didn’t feel like she was superiorly stronger than any fighter I had faced before. I’m not saying she can’t win the fight. I’ve been in there with both and I think the explosive power of Rousey will beat Cat to the punches in every area and that should be enough to keep the title.”
Zingano certainly was in big trouble early on against Nunes, and as Tate noted, you can’t afford to do that against Rousey. After all, this is a woman who has needed less than two minutes to defend her bantamweight title in her last two fights. That’s in total. She took out Sarah McMann in 66 seconds at UFC 170 in February, and then bombed out Alexis Davis in just 16 seconds at UFC 175 a few months later.
It’s also interesting to hear that Tate did not find Zingano particularly strong, because as the vet also noted, “Alpha” certainly has a “physical presence.” Of course, there’s the possibility that Tate is just saying that, but why? In case they fight again?
Folks also shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Zingano was fighting for the first time in well over a year on Saturday, so, it’s not terribly surprising to see she had a bit of a rough start (yes, yes, Dominick Cruz didn’t have any such issues and he was off for nearly three years…).
Considering everything Zingano’s been through, it’s nice to see that the undefeated fighter is going to get her shot. Wrestling the belt away from Rousey’s waist, however, is likely going to be very, very difficult.
Tate also relayed that she’d like another crack at Zingano herself, who stopped her in the third round of what was an outstanding fight. Since “Cupcake’s” losses to Zingano and then Rousey, Tate’s gone on to defeat Liz Carmouche and most recently Rin Nakai.
The former TUF coach is currently ranked #2 in the UFC’s bantamweight division while Zingano is #1.