Seven weeks ago, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche co-authored the biggest story the UFC had seen in years. This weekend comes the next chapter, as Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano meet in the second women's bout in the fight promotion's history.
It's not a main event, as Saturday night's card in Las Vegas (9 p.m., FX) is built around the finale of
For one thing, they're being asked to carry forth the building momentum of the women's game. And in terms of personal achievement, the winner earns the opportunity to coach against Rousey on the next season of
Recently, SI.com sat down with Tate and Zingano for separate interviews. Each of those conversations zeroed in on just a few topic, though, so we've weaved together the fighters' thoughts and have broken it down -- as Saturday's fight will be -- into three rounds:
Granted, I've not been in the UFC until now, but I've headlined a Strikeforce card that was run the same way by many of the same people, with a lot of media commitments to juggle leading up to the fight. It's all familiar faces for me in the UFC. I know [matchmaker] Sean Shelby. I know Dana [White, the president]. I know Lorenzo [Fertitta, the CEO]. I've attended a lot of UFC events, I've cornered in the UFC, so I know what it's like walking out to the cage, know what it's like with the camera in your face the whole way. Even when you're in the cage during introductions, the cameras get right up in your face. If you're not used to that, it really can feel like a lot of pressure. To me, it's just another day. For Cat, this is a huge leap.
It's almost like having to confront my fears -- not fears, exactly, but I'm being put in the spotlight and have to get used to this kind of situation while at the same time getting ready for a fight. It's definitely giving me tools for making my mind right and focusing. It's one of the things you have to do if you want to be a fighter at this level. And as soon as the cage door closes, it's me and her, and only one of us is going to walk out of there the winner. All nerves are left at the door. It just turns into animal instincts for me.