UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey struggled to pick a winner between Miesha Tate-Cat Zingano when put on the spot and understandably so once the dust had settled last night at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. The bout between the two talented 135ers was highly competitive and featured both in dire circumstances at certain points in the pairing. In the end, Zingano secured a strike-based stoppage in a scrap she was potentially losing on the scorecards and earned a shot at Rousey’s strap.
She also garnered a new level of respect from Rousey as “Rowdy” Ronda relayed in an interview with Fuel TV after the event’s conclusion.
“Cat showed the ability to perform under pressure. She needed to bring it (in the third round) and she did,” said Rousey. “I learned a lot of things about [Cat] as a fighter by watching her live for the first time. I’m ready, man. She’s a tough chick for sure, though.”
Before battling in the Octagon, Rousey and Zingano will square off as opposing coaches on the Ultimate Fighter 18. When asked about her approach to the long-running reality franchise, Rousey emphasized her interest in producing professional pugilists instead of TV stars.
“They’re gonna be a bunch of winners and not a bunch of Snookis,” joked Rousey, adding that she was confident the contestants wouldn’t need a lot of work in that regard. “The last couple seasons you’ve seen that people aren’t treating it like a reality TV show. They’re treating it like an actual documentary covering the hardest competition in sports. I suspect people are going to take this a lot more seriously than fans expect. It’s not gonna be as Jersey Shore-ish as people are predicting.”
TUF 18 debuts on September 4 and will air on FOX Sports 1. Rousey and Zingano are both unbeaten thus far in their careers.
The complete interview with Rousey can be found below:
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY/INVICTA FC