Ronda Rousey’s next fight being pushed back for more than a month was not the decision of the UFC.
Cat Zingano has a back injury and would not have been ready for UFC 182 on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas, according to a report by UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani. Rousey was initially scheduled to defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title on that card, headlined by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Daniel Cormier.
Zingano (9-0) was handed a six-month medical suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) due to a back issue following her comeback win over Amanda Nunes at UFC 178 on Sept. 28. "Alpha" will not be 100 percent in time for early January.
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Zingano is feeling better now, though, and her team is hoping she’ll be good to go for UFC 184 on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles. The UFC announced Rousey-Zingano would be the co-main event on that card, which is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.
Rousey (10-0) was hoping to be on the New Year’s Eve card and was disappointed the bout had to move to February, she told Helwani on "The MMA Hour" this week. However, the fact that UFC 184 will be in her hometown of Los Angeles at Staples Center was a decent consolation prize.
Rousey, 27, is coming off a 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis at UFC 175 in July. She is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC with four finishes. Zingano, the longtime No. 1 contender, remained undefeated in her return bout over Nunes. She had been out for more than a year due to a torn ACL and the death of her husband.