Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Women's Bantamweight No. 1 contender, Cat Zingano, was forced to surrender her Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 coaching spot opposite division champion Ronda Rousey -- as well as a corresponding title fight in December -- after having ACL surgery to correct an injury sustained in training (details).
Now, she may have suffered a serious setback.
That's because her healthy knee is showing signs of a medial meniscus tear, according to her physician (via Yahoo! Sports) and could be going under the knife for a second time if the unfortunate -- and extremely untimely -- injury is confirmed with a MRI.
"Cat is now three months out from her right knee anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. She's three months out; her knee looks great. She's got almost perfect motion, she's got great strength, she's got excellent stability. She's about three months from getting back in the ring and starting to spar. The only problem is the left knee appears to have somewhere along the line gotten into trouble with a medial meniscus tear. So we'll confirm that today with an MRI. If she does may have a torn meniscus, she'll need surgery fairly quickly, so she can get back on track with the rehab. We think three months from now she'd be back in the ring training, sparring; so fighting in about four to six months from now."
Zingano (8-0) was expected to be the front-runner for the winner of Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate, who tangle for "Rowdy's" 135-pound strap in the co-main event of UFC 168, which takes place on Dec. 28, 2013 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The show must go on.
Depending on how long the winner is willing to wait could determine if and when "Alpha" is next in line, but it will be tough to put the division on hold -- particularly after a new crop of female fighters emerges from TUF 18 -- when there already exists a couple of worthy contenders, like undefeated Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details on Zingano's knee troubles just as soon as they become available.