Ronda Rousey was sent into a panic Tuesday when filming begin for the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
To no knowledge of Rousey, or any member of the media, Cat Zingano was removed from the other coaching spot and replaced by Miesha Tate. The former Strikeforce champion showed up for the opening scenes after Zingano was forced out due to a knee injury.
Rousey, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, said she went looking for UFC president Dana White because she thought Tate was replacing her.
“This is what we really wanted all along,” the UFC bantamweight champion said.
Rousey and Tate put women’s MMA on the map with their collision in Strikeforce. Rousey won the title by submitting Tate in the first round, but the buildup and hate between the two helped bring viewers to the table for Showtime.
Tate was placed in a position for the rematch and the TUF coaching gig, but lost to Zingano earlier this year.
The two are expected to face each other after the season concludes airing, likely in December. They will coach both male and female bantamweights, as the season airs on FOX Sports 1 beginning in September.
“Miesha has the most experience,” White said. “She’d probably won the first two rounds of that fight with Cat and if it had gone to the cards, she’d probably have won by decision. The nice thing having Cat in there coaching against Ronda is that Cat was undefeated, and so we had this whole thing of two undefeated fighters facing off.
Zingano confirmed news of surgery on Twitter, saying, “Well…just got off surgery. Thanks (White) and UFC for all your support thru all of this.”