‘THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 18’: Cat Zingano out, Miesha Tate in to coach, fight against champion Ronda Rousey

A knee injury has sidelined Cat Zingano and created what could be the most highly anticipated rematch in the brief history of women’s MMA.

Miesha Tate will step up and coach against UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on the 18th season of the UFC reality show ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ according to the organization, and will also take Zingano’s spot in fighting for the title in December.

Zingano defeated Tate with a third-round stoppage April 14 to earn the ‘TUF’ coaching spot opposite Rousey as well as a crack at Rousey’s belt. But Zingano tore her anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in her right knee earlier this month, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, who broke the story.

Zingano underwent surgery Tuesday and hopes to resume training in six to nine months. Iole reported that Zingano has been told she will still receive a title shot.

Tate, who felt her loss against Zingano was an early stoppage, gets a chance to avenge losing the Strikeforce bantamweight championship to Rousey in March 2012.

“This is what we really wanted all along,” Rousey told Yahoo! Sports. “Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other and this is a personal show. For some reason, me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that.

“I think people will look back at this as one of monumental rivalries and look back at this as one of those things that really cemented women’s MMA.”

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