Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey will return to the octagon on January 3, 2015 at UFC 182 to defend her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship against the number one contender Cat “Alpha” Zingano.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout to UFC Tonight on Wednesday. The pay-per-view event will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The championship fight is more than one year in the making. Zingano originally earned a shot at Rousey following a TKO win over Miesha Tate in April 2013, but suffered a torn ACL in her right knee the following month.
Rousey (10-0) has defended the 135-pound bantamweight title three times since Zingano’s injury, recording finishes in each title bout. After winning her first eight professional bouts by armbar, the former U.S. Olympic judoka has posted back-to-back first-round knockouts in her only two appearances of 2014.
Including a spectacular highlight reel 16 second KO against Alexis Davis at UFC 175 in her last title defense in July. Rousey required limited time off after the match due to a hand injury but is set to begin training in a couple of weeks.
Zingano (9-0) returned from a 17-month layoff at UFC 178 last month. She survived a rough first round against Amanda Nunes, only to dominate the second round and finished Nunes with ground and pound en route to a TKO finish in the third round. Fighting out of Broomfield, Colo., Zingano has finished eight of the nine opponents she’s faced. Immediately following the win, White confirmed Zingano had re-established herself as the division’s No. 1 contender.
The Rousey versus Zingano match will be the co-main event of UFC 182 which will be headlined by a title tilt between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.