Rousey to defend title vs. Zingano

ByBrett Okamoto via ESPN logo
Thursday, October 23, 2014

UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will seek her fifth title defense against the undefeated Cat Zingano at UFC 182 on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout to UFC Tonight on Wednesday. The pay-per-view event will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The championship fight is more than one year in the making. Zingano, 32, originally earned a shot at Rousey following a TKO win over Miesha Tate in April 2013, but suffered a torn ACL in her right knee the following month.

Rousey (10-0) has defended the 135-pound title three times since Zingano's injury, recording finishes in each title bout. After winning her first eight professional bouts by armbar, the former U.S. Olympic judoka has posted back-to-back first-round knockouts in her only two appearances of 2014. Rousey, 27, required limited time off after her last title defense in July, due to a hand injury.

Zingano (9-0) returned from a 17-month layoff at UFC 178 last month. She survived a rough first round against Amanda Nunes, en route to a TKO finish in the third round. Fighting out of Broomfield, Colo., Zingano has finished eight of the nine opponents she's faced.

Immediately following the win, White confirmed Zingano had re-established herself as the division's No. 1 contender.

A light heavyweight title bout between champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is scheduled to headline UFC 182. That bout was originally supposed to take place at UFC 178, but was postponed when Jones suffered a knee injury during training.