Found April 16, 2013 on
This Saturday night we get the second female fight inside the UFC when Meisha “Cupcake” Tate takes on “Alpha” Cat Zingano in the co-main event for TUF17 finale. There is a lot at stake for this fight, not only does the winner get a title shot against Rhonda Rousey, they also will be the other coach for the next season of TUF. The first females to coach on TUF in the first season with women and men in the house. When this was first announced it was natural to think that Dana White was secretly deep down rooting for Tate to win this fight. Anybody who pays even a little attention to the MMA world is familiar with how Tate and Rousey really do not like each other. The two of them being around each other for six weeks would lead to some verbal fireworks. But, after seeing more of Zingano I am convinced White is just sitting back and smiling. He knows no matter what happens in this fight he will have some great TV and an awesome fight.
Zingano is not as well known as Tate as she has fought only once for Invicta FC which is her biggest promotion to date. She was suppose to fight for Strikeforce but the cancellation of a card and other issues kept this from happening. This UFC event will be the biggest for them both, but more so for Zingano. Tate has already gone through something similar with her fights in Strikeforce for the title, and especially with Rousey. This will still be at a different level than either has experienced.
Tate is definitely the more experienced MMA fighter and has faced tougher competition to date on bigger promotions. She holds wins over Julie Kedzie, Marloes Coenen and Zoila Frausto Gurgel. Her losses are to Rousey, Sarah Kaufman and Kaitlin Young. Zingano does hold wins over Raquel Pennington and Barb Honchak and does not know what defeat feels like inside of the cage. Zingano does have a vast fight background. She started wrestling at twelve and competed all the way through college. She has also competed in many BJJ tournaments and some Muay Thai fights outside of her MMA career. I do not think this fight comes down to experience or who has fought on the bigger stage. I think Zingano wins this fight because she is just a little bit better than Tate.
These two fighters are very similar. They have wrestling as their base, they are aggressive, they have strong submission games, they have TKO/KO wins and they both go for finishes. This will not be a boring fight and will be competing for FOTN on a great card. When I watch them in their previous fights the thing I notice is Tate’s strengths are also Zingano’s and Zingano is just a little bit better. Her wrestling is a little stronger and this will allow her to fight where she is the most comfortable. I also think that Zingano is a better pure striker with more explosive knockout power. Zingano is also quicker and even more aggressive than Tate.
This is not a slight against Tate at all but rather more about Zingano and her evolution as a MMA fighter. It is the blueprint for the modern aspiring mix martial artist. She starts with a strong wrestling base. This allows her to control where the fight takes place. She follows this up with BJJ training and competition. She now becomes more dangerous on the ground adding submissions and their defense to her arsenal. She completes her transformation by going to Thailand to add Muay Thai striking to her skill set. Her kicks and knees flow very naturally and she looks like she has been striking for years. Zingano now can fight at any distance, at any level and is dangerous everywhere. Being able to control distance and the level of the fight I think is very under-rated element of MMA.
Tate can win this fight. She has shown tremendous heart and toughness in many fights, and then to the point of horrifying fans in the Rousey fight. I think it is safe to say when people re-watch that fight they are silently screaming in their heads, “TAP! TAP! Please just TAP!” I know I feel a sense of relief when she finally does tap. Tate has the fuel and fire of champion. She is strong willed and I am never shocked when she wins. I just think Zingano has all of those same traits and is just a tick better everywhere else. I think Zingano is quicker and that will at some point make the difference in the fight. I expect a war and I think they are going to steal the show. Do not miss this fight.
If Zingano wins this fight, and I think she will pull off the victory, she will be a star opposite Rousey on TUF. Zingano speaks her mind and I think has the kind of skill set to give Rousey her biggest challenge in the octagon. However this plays out, it is going to be a fun season.
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