Inactive for well over a year, former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano will make her return to the Octagon at UFC 222, when she faces undefeated rising Brazilian prospect Ketlen Vieira. MMA Fighting reported the news on Saturday, but the initial tweet came on Thursday from Tom Taylor. Also, Zingano’s contract signing gives it away.
Zingano (9-2) hasn’t fought since a unanimous decision loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 200 in July 2016. In fact, the 35-year-old has competed just six times since 2011, and her last win came three years ago, when she stopped current champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 178.
Vieira (9-0) is 3-0 in her UFC career, and is coming off a superb arm-triangle choke win over Sara McMann at UFC 215 in September. The Brazilian also holds decision wins over Kelly Faszholz and Ashlee Evans-Smith, but the McMann win is by far the biggest of her career.
The current UFC rankings place Zingano at #6 (despite the inactivity) and Vieira at #8.
UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 3rd. The night’s main card airs live on pay-per-view.