Former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate will take on Cat Zingano on The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale on April 13 in Las Vegas.
The debut of the UFC’s new women’s bantamweight division will be held on Feb. 23 with the title bout between champion Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif.
Whether more fights in the will take place between those two remains to be seen, but the Rousey-Carmouche bout is the only other female fight already announced.
Tate, who lost her Strikeforce title to Rousey last March but rebounded with a win over Julie Kedzie in August before the promotion folded this year, was expected to join the UFC and signed a multi-fight deal.
“The ultimate goal for me is to win the UFC women’s bantamweight title,” Tate said in a press release. “My training has never been stronger, and I feel I am putting myself in a position to become the best in the world. This contract only serves as validation that my hard work is paying off, but also as motivation to continue to push myself to new levels.”
Zingano, 30, is undefeated in seven professional fights and is coming off a submission of her own over Raquel Pennington at the third event of the all-women’s MMA promotion Invicta in October.
NOTES: Former Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion Cristiane (Cyborg) Santos has reportedly asked to be released from her Zuffa contract. Santos, who was stripped of her title and suspended a year after testing positive for steroids, was eligible to return to the cage last month. However, the UFC currently only has a 135-pound division for the women, meaning she would have to drop a weight class to compete in the Octagon. Many had hoped to see her challenge Rousey for the bantamweight belt, but it appears such a matchup will have to wait. … Four new bouts have been added to Invicta FC 5 on April 4, including one involving Canadian Sarah Kaufman. The former Strikeforce champion from Victoria will battle Leslie Smith at the show in Kansas City, Mo., that is headlined by the atomweight title bout between Jessica Penne and Michelle Waterson. Also added is another championship fight pitting Barb Honchak vs. Vanessa Porto for the flyweight belt, and Amanda Nunes will take on Kaitlin Young, while Bec Hyatt will meet Jasminka Cive.