Zingano's likely injury setback

BY foxsports • October 1, 2013

UFC women’s bantamweight title contender “Alpha” Cat Zingano can’t catch a break.

Back in April, the unbeaten new arrival collected a thrilling, come-from-behind third-round stoppage win over Miesha Tate, a victory that not only secured her a coaching position opposite “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, but also the opportunity to challenge for the women’s bantamweight title once the show had concluded.

Before filming of the current season could even begin, the 31-year-old Colorado resident blew out the ACL in her right knee. Forced into the operating room, Tate replaced the 8-0 Zingano as both coach and challenger opposite Rousey.

On Monday, Zingano returned to Los Angeles for a check-up with her surgeon, Dr. Ronald Kvitne of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic.

In a video posted on her Facebook page, Dr. Kvitne indicated that Zingano’s rehabilitation is right on schedule.

“She’s three months out; her knee looks great,” he said. “She’s got almost perfect motion, she’s got great strength, she’s got excellent stability. She’s about three months from getting back in the ring and starting to spar.”

However, the good news about Zingano’s right knee was accompanied by some unfortunate news about her left knee.

“The only problem is the left knee appears to have somewhere along the line gotten into trouble with a medial meniscus tear,” said Dr. Kvitne. “So we’ll confirm that today with an MRI. If she does may have a torn meniscus, she’ll need surgery fairly quickly, so she can get back on track with the rehab.”

Tuesday morning, Zingano posted another video on her Facebook page, thanking fans for their continued support and expressing her disappointment with this latest setback.

It’s another tough blow for the talented undefeated fighter.

Her victory over Tate was the type of impressive, spirited win that opened a lot of eyes, and sharing the screen and the cage with Rousey would have been a huge boost for her career. The initial injury scuttled those opportunities, and now that she her return could be stalled by another surgery on her other knee, Zingano’s climb back into title contention in the women’s bantamweight ranks will be even harder.

Episode 5 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate airs Wednesday night on Fox Sports 1, and the season has already shown the genuine tension and animosity that exists between the rival coaches.

The teams are currently even at two wins each, with Team Rousey’s Davey Grant set to take on Team Tate’s Louis Fisette this week.

The winners of this season of The Ultimate Fighter will be determined on Saturday, November 30 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, while Rousey and Tate will renew acquaintances in the co-main event of UFC 168 on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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