It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep a secret in this age of technology and instant information but the UFC and all involved parties were recently able to do so in relation to a major change to the Ultimate Fighter 18. In fact, things were kept SO quiet bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was unaware of the matter until showing up on the first day of taping.
As first reported by Yahoo Sports, TUF 18 coach Cat Zingano tore her ACL a few weeks ago and will be sidelined for up to a year as she recovers. Based on her lack of availability, Miesha Tate has been brought in to take the spot opposite Rousey. Tate was previously expected to face Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX 8.
Though the move apparently upset Rousey upon discovery, the fan-favorite showed genuine excitement about another opportunity to get her hands on Tate after settling down.
“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,” said Rousey. “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.”
Rousey and Tate first crossed paths a little more than a year ago under the Strikeforce banner. The two exchanged insults leading up to the tilt and a shoving match even ensued at the weigh-ins. Come fight time, Tate started out strong but ultimately got caught in Rousey’s trademark submission before the first frame expired.
“Rowdy” Ronda is 7-0 in her career with all of her wins coming in similar fashion to her success against Tate. She was last seen tapping out Carmouche in the Octagon’s first fight between females. Meanwhile, though she lost via TKO to Zingano, Tate’s overall record is 13-4 and she owns past victories over Zoila Gurgel, Hitomi Akano, Julie Kedzie, and Marloes Coenen.
TUF 18 will air on FOX Sports 1 with a September debut. Rousey/Tate will coach opposing squads with each team featuring a mix of 135-pound males and females.