It started with the Liz Carmouche vs Ronda Rousey fight on February 23rd. The first women's fight in UFC history quickly made the sports world take women in MMA seriously. During the championship Bantamweight bout, Carmouche gave Rousey some trouble in the first, only to be submitted by Ronda's world-renowned armbar long before the round would end.
Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano would further establish the value of female fighters in the UFC. It was a highly anticipated event with the victor not only snagging the coveted Ronda Rousey fight for the belt, but getting to coach against her on season eighteen of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, which will move to Fox Sports 1.
Everyone seemed to have Miesha Tate, the former Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion pegged to win. This was possibly due to the unfamiliarity of Zingano and her fighting game. Tate has become a fan and media favorite, one of the faces of women's MMA, but Zingano has been rising up the ranks under the radar.
Tate undoubtedly dominated rounds one and two, but in the third, Zingano would catch her with "six or seven" knees as UFC President Dana White estimated. The fight was stopped, but Miesha insisted it shouldn't have been.
After getting tagged with several vicious knees and punches, Tate did attempt to dive at Zingano's legs, but she could have been seriously hurt within seconds if the fight went any longer. Rosey stated she thought that the fight may have been stopped prematurely, but Tate shouldn't have put herself in that position (see post-fight interviews in the gallery below).
Whether it's Rousey, Zingano, Tate, or Carmouche, it's clear that women in the UFC are here to stay. Not only have they earned their place through monumental hard work in training just as the male fighters do, but so far both women's bouts have won "Fight of the Night" honors from the UFC.
There will be more excitement to come from the upcoming Cat Zingano vs Ronda Rousey fight for the belt after the next season of TUF as well.
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