Cat Zingano is in a tough position right now. With women bantamweight contenders thin on the ground she is ideally situated to be one of the most relavant figures in women's MMA this year, or at least she would be if she were healthy. After tearing her ACL last May she has had to spend the last seven months on the sidelines. Her nine month recovery is reported to be on schedule, which would mean that she could be ready to start training seriously again in February... too late for UFC 170 (the site of Ronda Rousey's next fight) taking place on February 22.
This looks like a classic case of the necessity of the moment overcoming the promises of the past. If Ronda wants to fight again soon, the UFC can't afford to wait for Zingano to come back. And while she may be willing to go in at less than 100% there's little upside for the UFC in giving her the opportunity to further endanger her career. Even if she did win the fight, the potential for her to wreck her knee longterm might mean that she would be instantly unable to defend the title anytime in the near future. I hate to see anyone get passed over for a shot, especially when they clearly deserve it, but right now it only makes sense.
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