MMA Odds and Ends For Tuesday: Zingano Out, Tate In For TUF 18

tateIn a bit of a surprise announcement, the MMA world discovered today that Cat Zingano will no longer be coaching against, or fighting, Ronda Rousey in season 18 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Citing a knee injury, Zingano has pulled out of both the taping for the show, and the eventual December title fight with Rousey. With Zingano’s absence, Miesha Tate will be stepping into both roles despite coming off of a loss to Zingano in her last bout. While other fighters, most notably Sara McMann, could be considered more deserving of the title shot than Tate, it is hard to argue that a Rousey/Tate combination will make for a more intriguing season of the reality TV show. If the UFC has shown us anything over the past year, it’s that the ability to promote a fight comes ahead of even the legitimacy of a fight, as Tate will be the fourth fighter that the UFC has awarded a title shot coming off of a loss, and none of those have been rematches. Filming for the show began today, and even Rousey was shocked to find out that Tate had replaced Zingano, something that everyone involved had kept tight-lipped about since Zingano suffered her injury on May 16th. After her initial shock wore off, Rousey seemed happy about the change, as she was quoted saying “This is what we really wanted all along. Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best.” While it is certainly hard to argue with her from an entertainment perspective, you have to wonder how eager fans will be to purchase a fight that was so recent and so definitive. This also leaves the UFC with another issue. Tate was scheduled to fight Liz Carmouche at UFC on Fox 8 in July, and many of the women who could replace her in that bout are tied up in the cast of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, although Sara McMann could step into the slot and further cement her place as one of the best in women’s MMA.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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