Earlier this week, the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, the first that will see both male and female participants living in the same house as well as two women coaches, was given a dramatic makeover.
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy Ronda Rousey was slated to coach opposite number one contender Cat Zingano, who earned the gig on TUF following a spirited victory over Miesha Tate. Unfortunately, Zingano suffered a debilitating injury when she tore both her ACL and meniscus, forcing her to undergo surgery and miss action for six to nine months.
The injury, which was kept under wraps since it occurred, had seemingly left Rousey without an opponent and opposing coach. That is, until Tate came walking through the door to shock her rival and past opponent (the two fought for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship in March of last year.) Rousey had mentioned following Tate’s loss to Zingano that she was disappointed, but believed a rematch between the two was destined to happen. Now, those words have come to fruition.
With such a storied history between Rousey and Tate, the question now lingers: could this potentially be the biggest season in TUF history?
The intrigue of men and women fighters living in the same house was enough to garner public attention, as was the inclusion of women coaches; more specifically Rousey who has grown into a star that transcends MMA. Now with Zingano out and Tate in, the intrigue of this season grows to new heights with the added discontent between the coaches; think TUF 3 with Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.
Having previously headlined a Strikeforce card, the fight itself has proven to have substantial drawing power especially considering that Strikeforce was on a much smaller scale publicity-wise than the UFC. With the added success that came via Rousey’s first UFC title defense against Liz Carmouche, the possibilities are endless.
Give us your thoughts, Penn Nation. Are we in for the biggest (and perhaps best) season in the history of The Ultimate Fighter?