Following her third successful title defense—between Strikeforce and the UFC—at UFC 168 on Saturday, pundits assumed women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would meet fellow undefeated fighter Cat Zingano next.
The bout made sense: "Alpha" earned her shot at the belt with a victory over Miesha Tate on the season 17 finale of The Ultimate Fighter in April.
Unfortunately, a torn ACL sidelined Zingano from ever cashing in on a title bout, so Tate took her place coaching season 18 of TUF, as well as at UFC 168.
However, even after Dana White declared Zingano still to be the division's No. 1 contender, per Mookie Alexander of Bloody Elbow, he proceeded to announce Rousey vs. Sara McMann at UFC 170 on February 22.
Zingano, currently ranked the No. 1 contender in the UFC's official women's bantamweight rankings, took to twitter on Monday to announce her displeasure about the situation:
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) December 30, 2013
Also, at the post-fight press conference, White explained that Rousey wanted a quick turnaround—since she fought only twice in 2013—and that Zingano would not be healthy in time for the February pay-per-view.
The UFC's head honcho also made note that Zingano is already penciled in to get the winner of Rousey vs. McMann.
McMann, an Olympic-level wrestler, has a 7-0 record as a professional mixed martial artist and most recently defeated Sheila Gaff at UFC 159 in April.
Zingano is also undefeated, boasting the same record as Rousey (8-0), with all but one of her pro bouts ending via knockout or submission.
Did Zingano catch the short end of the stick here, or did White simply do what was best for business?