Miesha Tate-Cat Zingano clash set

Updated: February 11, 2013, 6:09 PM ET
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Less than two weeks prior to the first female mixed martial artists contest in UFC history, Zuffa has lined up a bout between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano for April 13 in Las Vegas.

UFC officials on Monday announced the fight, which is set for the main card of The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The announcement comes less than two weeks before a scheduled UFC 157 bantamweight title fight featuring Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.

Tate (13-3) was Strikeforce champion at 135 pounds prior to Rousey submitting her last year. The upcoming spring fight is Tate's first on a multi-fight contract with the UFC, announced her manager, Malki Kawa.

"The ultimate goal for me is to win the UFC women's bantamweight title," Tate said in a statement. "My training has never been stronger, and I feel I am putting myself in a position to become the best in the world. This contract only serves as validation that my hard work is paying off, but also as motivation to continue to push myself to new levels."

Tate, 26, rebounded from the opening-round armbar against Rousey by forcing a similar submission on Julie Kedzie in August. That closed the book on her Strikeforce career at 5-2.

Like Tate, who trains out of Yakama, Wash., Zingano will step into the Octagon under the terms of a new deal. Zingano was in line to fight Amanda Nunes in Strikeforce, however the Sept. 2012 card was cancelled. Instead, the 30-year-old fighter out of Broomfield, Colo., dominated Raquel Pennington last October in Invicta FC to remain unbeaten and pick up her sixth finish in seven fights.

The UFC adopted a division for women fighting at 135 pounds in early December, and made Rousey, the Strikeforce titleholder, its first champion. She'll defend the belt against Carmouche at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

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