The top-rated UFC women’s bantamweight contender is finally ready to make her Octagon return. Cat Zingano draws an intriguing assignment against Amanda Nunes at UFC 178. The Sept. 27 clash in Las Vegas will be Zingano’s first fight since April of 2013, while Nunes has been on a destructive run in her brief UFC tenure.
Zingano seemed poised for stardom after her exciting third-round TKO victory over Miesha Tate at the TUF 17 Season Finale in a bout that produced the Fight of the Night. Unfortunately, Zingano would later sustain a serious knee injury that cost her a coaching spot on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter and an eventual title fight against champion Ronda Rousey. Despite her lengthy absence, Zingano has been able to retain her No. 1 ranking in the organization.
“Alpha” is now ready to return to action and will be looking to cement her case as a legitimate title threat to Rousey’s crown. The aggressive Zingano has compiled a perfect 8-0 career record that includes seven victories by knockout or submission. She made quite a favorable first impression in her lone UFC appearance against ”Cupcake” and now looks to charge full steam ahead into the title picture.
The No. 8 ranked Nunes will be looking to make her own statement in Las Vegas. “The Lioness” owns first-round TKO Octagon victories over Sheila Gaff and Germaine de Randamie, and she has showcased tremendous power and aggressiveness. All nine of her career victories have been produced by finishes. Nunes hasn’t fought since November of 2013. She had stepped in as an injury replacement to face Sarah Kaufman at the TUF Nations Finale in April, however the Brazlian was forced out of that matchup due to a thumb injury.
Nunes and Zingano had actually been targeted to meet earlier in their careers at a Strikeforce event in 2012. However, that matchup failed to materialize when the card ended up being cancelled. Now they get to meet in the UFC with high stakes definitely in play.
This has the makings of an all-action war between two determined and fierce female competitors. Both Zingano and Nunes are pressure, high-volume fighters who have proven finishing abilities. The winner will be knocking on the door of a women’s bantamweight title shot against Rousey.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports