UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey now knows who she will face in her next bout. In a fight with huge implications, Cat Zingano won by TKO over Miesha Tate at 2:55 of the third round at "The Ultimate Fighter" finale on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Zingano found herself in trouble early in the fight as she was caught in several of Tate's submission attempts in what proved to be a thrilling bout. Both a kneebar and an armbar appeared to be tight, but Zingano worked out of every attempt Tate tried. In the third round, the fight turned for Zingano as she hit Tate with several, well-timed knees from the clinch. Zingano finally finished the bout with an elbow.
Now, Zingano, the first mother to ever fight in the UFC, will coach against Rousey on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Their teams will face off on the reality show that will air on the soon-to-be launched Fox Sports 1, and then Zingano and Rousey will fight for the UFC women's bantamweight belt.
Zingano and Rousey are already looking forward to facing each other.
"It's going to come down to heart, to technique, to speed. It's going to be a battle. You're going to watch," Zingano said after the bout.
Rousey admitted the fight wasn't exactly what she expected, but she already learned something about her future opponent.
"Cat really showed that she was able to perform under pressure. I'm going to be ready for that," Rousey said.
Though Rousey has only been a professional MMA fighter for two years, she zoomed to the top of the women's MMA world since switching to fighting after winning an Olympic bronze medal in judo. She has seven straight fights by first-round, armbar wins, including her defeat of Liz Carmouche in her UFC debut in February.
Zingano is also undefeated as a professional. Like Rousey, she is 7-0, but has finished opponents through knockouts and submissions. With a wrestling and jiu-jitsu background, she is a more well-rounded fighter than many of Rousey's previous opponents. Zingano showed her power against Tate, so it will be interesting to see if she will be able to muster the same kind of power against Rousey.
Women fighting in the UFC is still new, as the Tate-Zingano bout was just the second female bout in UFC history. The women's bantamweight division is quickly growing, though; it has added several fighters since Rousey was originally signed as the first women in the UFC. Adding TUF castmembers to the mix will help it the division develop depth even faster.
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Arizona State AD upset with Notre Dame over possible game cancellation
• Lakers suspect Achilles tear for Kobe Bryant | Photos
• Ranking the 10 best games of the 2012-13 college basketball season
• Mark Sanchez could be part of Darrelle Revis trade package