Injured Zingano replaced by Tate

May 29, 2013
Miesha Tate lost to Cat Zingano last month © Getty Images

UFC female bantamweight Cat Zingano has withdrawn from her coaching position on the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series because of a knee injury.

Miesha Tate, who suffered a TKO loss to Zingano last month, will now coach opposite undefeated champion Ronda Rousey. The two will then meet, presumably in a pay-per-view event, at the conclusion of the series. Yahoo! Sports earlier reported the switch, which UFC officials confirmed on Tuesday.

"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 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."

Production of the reality show is underway in Las Vegas. With the show now in its 18th season, this will mark the first time female coaches and contestants are featured.

Rousey (7-0) defeated Tate (13-4) via first-round armbar in March 2012 to claim the 135-pound Strikeforce title. Rousey went on to defend the belt against Sarah Kaufman in August.

She became the first UFC women's champion when Strikeforce was dissolved in late 2012. She successfully defended the UFC belt for the first time against Liz Carmouche in February in a fight that headlined UFC 157.

Rousey has finished all seven of her opponents via armbar in the first round. Until Carmouche lasted 4:49 in Rousey's latest fight, Tate was the only Rousey opponent who survived the opening minute.

Tate had been scheduled to meet Carmouche at a UFC on Fox event in July. UFC officials have not announced her replacement.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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