Madden isn’t the only franchise to have its own curse. The Ultimate Fighter coaching gig has become a cursed gig with injuries. Rest easy, Ronda Rousey is fine. The same can’t be said about her opponent Cat Zingano.
UFC Tonight broke the big news on Tuesday during the first day of taping. Kevin Iole reports that Ronda Rousey walked out of the room when Miesha Tate walked in and was surprised by the switch. Zingano later tweeted out a picture of her in a hospital bed and confirmed that she injured her knee two weeks ago. The social media world went crazy with the news.
Zingano is the first coach to get injured preparing for TUF, although she is certainly not the first to suffer injury and pull out of the gig. Vitor Belfort, Tito Ortiz, Dominick Cruz, Brock Lesnar, and Shane Carwin are also fighters that had to pull out of big fights and the coaching gig due to injury.
Rousey is excited about the switch. Iole reports that Rousey wanted Tate all along and welcomed the news. “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.”
She couldn’t have been that excited if she walked off. Mind you there are some that are even skeptical of that. As a few have pointed out in the social media world, Rousey would have agreed to fight Tate before the UFC gave her the spot. So the idea of her being surprised to see Tate sounds a bit more like a pro wrestling angle to me.
Tate of course will now not only coach against Rousey but will fight Rousey when the show is over for the UFC women’s championship. MMA media were quick to point out that this now makes four championship fights in 2013 in which the challenger is getting a title shot off of a loss. Tate lost to Zingano recently in a fight to determine the next challenger. I don’t care how you slice it and there are always exceptions but 80% of challengers coming off of a loss is not a good thing.
That said, I don’t think it is that big of a deal here. We aren’t talking about a championship with a ton of lineage. The championship has only been defended once and quite frankly, Rousey was handed the title when she came over from Strikeforce. Unfortunately the fight comes in the middle of this title fight controversy yet really shouldn’t be lumped into the mix of farce title fights in my opinion.
I think the UFC is open to criticism here regarding their lack of preparation for a B-plan. The UFC either needed to never have Zingano and Tate fight or wait until the division is a bit more established. They really backed themselves into a corner here. What if Tate said no? They should have either just went with Tate-Rousey from the start with Zingano as a backup or built up a few other girls just in case someone went down. What happens if Tate or Rousey get hurt? They are screwed!