UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was in attendance Saturday night at UFC 178 and likely saw her next challenger come through with an impressive win.
After falling behind early against Amanda Nunes, Cat Zingano stormed back, finishing the Brazilian and earning the title shot she was once promised.
Zingano had been out of action for almost two full years due to a knee injury suffered in training while preparing for Rousey. She was expected to coach on The Ultimate Fighter, but both the TV job and championship match went to Miesha Tate.
Following her win, Zingano ran over to UFC president Dana White and screamed “do you see me?” White mentioned during the post-fight press conference that he believed it was her way of telling him to forget about Gina Carano.
“That’s the statement she wanted to make and she made it loud and clear,” White said. “She is back. I think the fans can see her and she needed to remind everybody why she was in line for a title fight (before the injury).”
White mentioned UFC 182 on January 3 as a likely date for Rousey-Zingano. Officials had been working hard to sign Carano to a contract, but the former Strikeforce contender reportedly is set for a pair of upcoming movies roles, likely negating a return to MMA. She had said earlier this year that fighting was something in her plans.
Zingano offered up her thoughts on Nunes, posting on Twitter after the fight “thank you for being a great opponent, you brought out the best in me. Honored to compete against you.” You can see complete video highlights of Zingano-Nunes on FightLine.