The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale (Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen) – Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Breakdown, Preview and Prediction
by Daniel Sohn on April 12, 2013

Making their UFC debuts in the co-main event at the TUF 17 Finale are female bantamweight contenders Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano. This bout marks the second women’s fight in the UFC behind Ronda Rousey’s historical victory over Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. The winner of this match, according to Dana White, earns the next title shot and will serve as the head coach of the next (and first co-ed) season of TUF opposite bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Fight Breakdown

Tate is by far the more experienced fighter between the two, so look for that to play at least some role in their matchup. This is the UFC debut for both of them, by far the biggest stage of their careers, but Tate has been in title fights and is a former champion. She has as many fights in Strikeforce alone than Zingano does professionally. Zingano is far from a rookie to the sport, but it will be interesting to see if the UFC-debut jitters throw her off her game at all.

In terms of skillsets, they’re both very well rounded with a tendency to clinch and look for submissions. More likely than not this fight will be decided against the cage and on the ground. Neither fighter has that go-to, end-all move like Rousey’s judo/armbar or Cyborg’s striking.

Neither fighter has a distinct advantage in height, but come fight night, Zingano may have a slight advantage in strength. Don’t let the “Cupcake” moniker fool you though, Tate has crafty submission defense skills and managed to outmaneuver and escape Coenen for four rounds and Coenen was noticeably larger in that fight. Tate will want to drag this fight to the ground and look to set up a submission. Zingano can do the same, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see her try and keep it standing to trade strikes with Tate.

Look for Zingano to wear Tate down on the feet and in the clinch, throwing a high volume of knees to the body and thighs of Tate, as she did in her fight against Pennington. Tate can’t afford to get locked into a clinch battle with Zingano, who can wear her down and take a lot of the gas out of her tank. Tate’s a tough fighter, but the volume of knees that Zingano can land would affect anybody’s ability to keep pace. Fortunately for her, Tate has the wrestling and grappling skills to get out of trouble and bring this fight to where she wants it.

Why It Matters – This is a title eliminator, plain and simple. A win here also ensures a coaching gig on TUF, which means more exposure and a bigger paycheck. And as if both of those dangling carrots weren’t enough, this is arguably just as important a fight as the inaugural Rousey vs. Carmouche fight, and quite possibly more since we already saw the results of that matchup. Rousey is gold, a bonafide star who is going to sell, sell and sell some more. The UFC couldn’t have asked for a better female induction fight. The underrated and heavy underdog Carmouche had the hugely hyped champion in big trouble, but Rousey hung on and pulled out her signature first round armbar.

That was a main event that delivered the goods and will go down in UFC and Ronda Rousey lore. But Tate and Zingano are, while very prominent in women’s MMA, much less known than the highly publicized and outspoken Ronda Rousey. Whether Tate and Zingano and the rest of the women’s bantamweight division like it or not, this fight (and many other women’s fights after) will play a major role in shaping the landscape for women’s MMA. Today’s fans are quick to boo men who fight lackluster fights, and the reaction for women will be no different. So there is a little extra pressure here, the pressure of a title eliminator, as well as fighting to entertain fans and gain more exposure for women’s MMA.

Win or lose, we’re likely going to see Tate vs. Rousey 2 at some point in the future. Tate is just too good to not stay competitive at the top of the division, and the division just isn’t that deep to begin with. The same might go for Zingano as well, since the division is so thin and elite talent may be hard to come by.

Look for “Cupcake” to come out hungry with a fire lit under her. She’s a former champion who has been in big fights before, but for Zingano the combination of fighting for a title shot in the biggest MMA organization in the world on the largest stage she’s ever been against the best fighter she’s ever faced by far might be a little overwhelming.

Prediction – Tate by decision

 

 

 

 

 

TUF 17 Finale – Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Preview

Making their UFC debuts in the co-main event at the TUF 17 Finale are female bantamweight contenders Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano. This bout marks the second women’s fight in the UFC behind Ronda Rousey’s historical victory over Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. The winner of this match, according to Dana White, earns the next title shot and will serve as the head coach of the next (and first co-ed) season of TUF opposite bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Fighter profiles:

Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (13-3, UFC debut): Tate is the UFC ranked #1 contender, coming off of a submission victory over Julie Kedzie in her final Strikeforce fight last August. She won the Strikeforce championship in an entertaining back and forth affair against Marloes Coenen two years ago, but in her first title defense, she famously had her elbow dislocated by a Ronda Rousey armbar. Her victory against Kedzie was a huge rebound win for her, proving she is still an elite righter, and now she is a win away from a UFC title shot.

Cat “Alpha” Zingano (7-0, UFC debut): Zingano recently submitted Raquel Pennington at Invicta FC 3 last year, displaying an impressive clinch and top control game. Zingano is an aggressive fighter, looking to finish fights with power and precision. She is undefeated in her seven professional fights, earning KO or submission finishes in all but one. “Alpha” doesn’t have the pedigree of some of the other fighters on the roster, but she enters the UFC on an absolute tear.

Fight Breakdown

Tate is by far the more experienced fighter between the two, so look for that to play at least some role in their matchup. This is the UFC debut for both of them, by far the biggest stage of their careers, but Tate has been in title fights and is a former champion. She has as many fights in Strikeforce alone than Zingano does professionally. Zingano is far from a rookie to the sport, but it will be interesting to see if the UFC-debut jitters throw her off her game at all.

In terms of skillsets, they’re both very well rounded with a tendency to clinch and look for submissions. More likely than not this fight will be decided against the cage and on the ground. Neither fighter has that go-to, end-all move like Rousey’s judo/armbar or Cyborg’s striking.

Neither fighter has a distinct advantage in height, but come fight night, Zingano may have a slight advantage in strength. Don’t let the “Cupcake” moniker fool you though, Tate has crafty submission defense skills and managed to outmaneuver and escape Coenen for four rounds and Coenen was noticeably larger in that fight. Tate will want to drag this fight to the ground and look to set up a submission. Zingano can do the same, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see her try and keep it standing to trade strikes with Tate.

Look for Zingano to wear Tate down on the feet and in the clinch, throwing a high volume of knees to the body and thighs of Tate, as she did in her fight against Pennington. Tate can’t afford to get locked into a clinch battle with Zingano, who can wear her down and take a lot of the gas out of her tank. Tate’s a tough fighter, but the volume of knees that Zingano can land would affect anybody’s ability to keep pace. Tate has the wrestling and grappling skills to get out of trouble and bring this fight to where she wants it.

Why It Matters – This is a title eliminator, plain and simple. A win here also ensures a coaching gig on TUF, which means more exposure and money. And as if both of those dangling carrots weren’t enough, this is arguably just as important a fight as the inaugural Rousey vs. Carmouche fight, and quite possibly more since we already saw the results of that matchup. Rousey is gold, a bonafide star who is going to sell, sell and sell some more. The UFC couldn’t have asked for a better female induction fight. The underrated and heavy underdog Carmouche had the hugely hyped champion in big trouble, but Rousey hung on and pulled out her signature first round armbar.

That was a main event that delivered the goods and will go down in UFC and Ronda Rousey lore. But Tate and Zingano are, while very prominent in women’s MMA, much less known than the highly publicized and outspoken Ronda Rousey. Whether Tate and Zingano and the rest of the women’s bantamweight division like it or not, this fight (and many other women’s fights after) will play a major role in shaping the landscape for women’s MMA. Today’s fans are quick to boo men who fight lackluster fights, and the reaction for women will be no different. So there is a little extra pressure here, the pressure of a title eliminator, as well as fighting to entertain fans and gain more exposure for women’s MMA.

Win or lose, we’re likely going to see Tate vs. Rousey 2 at some point in the future. Tate is just too good to not stay competitive at the top of the division, and the division just isn’t that deep to begin with. The same might go for Zingano as well, since the division is so thin and elite talent may be hard to come by.

Look for “Cupcake” to come out hungry with a fire lit under her. She’s a former champion who has been in big fights before, but for Zingano the combination of fighting for a title shot in the biggest organization in the world on the largest stage she’s ever been against the best fighter she’s ever faced by far might be a little overwhelming.

Prediction – Tate by decision



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