Cat Zingano Rallies To Defeat Miesha Tate At TUF 17 Finale In VegasUFC newcomer “Alpha” Cat Zingano may have experienced the Octagon jitters early in her fight tonight, but she rallied to score the biggest win of her career at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. Zingano stopped former Strikeforce champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate in round three.

It was Tate who dominated the action in the opening round on the feet and on the mat, but Zingano began to settle down in the middle stanza and she appeared to narrowly steal the round. After stuffing a takedown in round three, Zingano landed three big knees and an elbow for the TKO victory.


Zingano (8-0-0) had to play defence right away after Tate (13-4-0) took her down in the opening seconds of the fight. Zingano scrambled and both women attempted guillotine chokes. Tate landed a big flurry of punches and she took Zingano down again. Zingano swept into side control and landed an elbow, but she could not keep Tate down for long. The fighters teed off with punches on the feet and Tate got the better of the exchange. Zingano scored with a big knee and a combination, but Tate took her down and struck from the top until the bell.

Tate wasted no time in taking the fight back down to the mat in round two. She landed short elbows from the top and postured up to land more damaging strikes. Tate nearly secured an armbar, but the cage got in her way and Zingano was able to sweep into top position soon after. Zingano fought her way out of a heel hook and rained down punches and elbows in the late stages of the middle round.

As round three began, Zingano secured a quick takedown and moved to mount. Tate scrambled and got to her knees, but Zingano muscled her back down and bloodied Tate’s nose with some hard shots. Tate stood and Zingano rocked her with a knee. She stuffed a takedown from Tate and made her pay with more big knees as Tate stood up. After three knees and a standing elbow, Tate fell forward and referee Kim Winslow intervened to stop the fight.

Zingano’s victory was her biggest to date and positioned her as the new number one contender for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship, which is presently held by unbeaten judoka “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Zingano and Rousey will serve as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 18, which, for the first time in the show’s history, will feature both male and female contestants at 135 pounds.

Winner: Cat Zingano by TKO (Knees & Elbow) at 2:55 of round three. She improves to 8-0-0.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, /

  1. First, Rob, Cris is going by Cris Santos:

    As to the fight here: WOW. I didn’t know who was going to win this, and I was shocked with the outcome. I was expecting Cat to win a decision, maybe. I didn’t expect Miesha to be so dominant with her wrestling, nor such a brutal ending to this awesome fight.

    I want to see the top ten ranking, not only because of this fight. IMO, Leslie Smith beat Kaufman (and I expected Kaufman to win). I scored 30-28 in Leslie’s favour (10-10, 10-9, 10-9). I love Leslie Smith, more and more, every time i see her fight. And I love how she is always smiling.

  2. BTW, I saw an interview with her (in Portuguese), where she said she and Cyborg were back together.

  3. I was surprised by Miesha’s wrestling, too, since Cat has a far better pedigree in that regard; however, I fully expected Cat to smash Miesha. I had been predicting a 2nd round TKO stoppage since the fight was first announced. I only missed by a round. 😉

  4. Rafael, Cris’s coaches at Invicta FC 5 said: “Cris has not seen Evangelista in over two months and is much happier now.” Invicta personnel said: “She is not a Santos anymore. She wants to be known by her maiden name, Justino, but we’ll continue to bill her as just ‘Cris Cyborg.'” So, their first-hand accounts are what I went off of.

  5. Thanks, Rob, for the update.