The main card of tonight's (Sat., Sept. 27, 2014) UFC 178: "Johnson vs. Cariaso" pay-per-view (PPV) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, kicked off with Cat Zingano making her return to the Octagon to square off against Amanda Nunes.
A win for Zingano, 8-0 as a professional coming into this fight, would mean challenging Ronda Rousey for the women's bantamweight championship.
After an early speed bump, Zingano earned a stoppage victory in the third and final frame.
It was really ugly early. Really ugly. Nunes earned top position with Zingano on her back and after an armbar attempt that failed, Nunes started teeing off with heavy, heavy shots that appeared to land hard and clean straight to the dome.
Despite that, Nunes failed to earn a finish and Zingano found herself on top with a minute remaining in the opening round. She let her foe up but landed a takedown -- Mick Foley style double arm DDT, y'all -- and appeared to swing the momentum back in her favor headed into the second.
She continued the turnaround with another takedown into side control. Nunes, seemingly worn from the first round onslaught that nearly netted her a finish, was nearly helpless on her back, outside of looking for a leg a time or two.
With one round remaining, it was quite clearly tied at one apiece.
It was just as clear that Zingano was going to finish the job in the final frame when she earned yet another takedown and absolutely teed off until Nunes was bloody, beaten, and the bout was finally stopped by the referee.
Here she comes, Ronda.
For complete UFC 178 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.