Zingano’s likely injury setback

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.