Cat Zingano will finally return to the Octagon on Sept. 27, but Amanda Nunes wants to ruin her title aspirations with a quick knockout at UFC 178 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Nunes, who scored a pair of first-round TKO victories over Sheila Gaff and Germaine de Randamie in her UFC appearances, sees Zingano as the perfect opponent to get her a shot at the bantamweight championship against UFC superstar Ronda Rousey.
"I want to show in this fight that I’m ready for Ronda and for the title," Nunes told MMAFighting.com. "This is the fight that I needed to prove I’m ready to fight for the UFC title."
Zingano was scheduled to coach a season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show opposite of Rousey in the past, but was replaced by Miesha Tate prior to the show due to an injury. Zingano, who is unbeaten in eight MMA fights, defeated Tate by TKO in her only UFC bout in April of 2013.
Nunes wasn’t in the talks for a shot at the UFC gold yet, so she took some pages of Chael Sonnen’s books to get the fight she was hoping for.
"(Sonnen) fought for two UFC titles doing this, so I will do everything I can to promote myself and get there," she said. "Cat Zingano will get me right up there. I’m coming off two wins in the UFC, I’m already ranked, and I knew they would give me a girl that was better ranked. I kept asking for this fight on Twitter, tweeting to Dana White and Sean Shelby, and it worked."
Nunes and Zingano have 12 knockout victories combined, but Nunes feels that, with eight TKO wins in nine professional fights, she is the better striker in the match-up.
"She will keep it standing, and that’s what I want, but as soon as she feels my hands, she will try to take me down or get me close to the fence. And I’m ready for this," Nunes said. "I know she’s going to try this. I know she won’t try to trade punches with me because my striking is on a whole other level."
"I want another knockout," she continued. "If I can’t get it, I will take her down and do to her what she wants to do to me. I’m focused on Cat Zingano, and I depend on this fight to get to the title. I will do my best in there. I want a quick win. After that, I’m fighting for the title."