Cat ZinganoTop UFC women’s bantamweight contender Cat Zingano, after nearly a year and a half on the sidelines, will make her return at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas. She’ll get no warm-up fight, however, as Zingano will step into the Octagon opposite Amanda Nunes, who is quickly rising up the 135-pound ranks.

UFC officials on Thursday confirmed the bout first reported by MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports.

Zingano (8-0) is certainly looking forward to her shot at champion Ronda Rousey, but will first put her unblemished record on the line against the Brazilian standout.

Zingano had already earned a shot at Rousey by defeating Miesha Tate on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. She was supposed to have coached opposite the champ during TUF 18 and then fight her, but suffered a knee injury that has kept her on the bench.

Although she suffered some setbacks related to the injury, Zingano also suffered the loss of her husband, Mauricio Zingano, who took his own life earlier this year.

Nunes (9-3), meanwhile, has fought twice since Zingano last competed, knocking out Sheila Gaff in her Octagon debut at UFC 163 and then doing the same to Germaine de Randamie to close out her 2013.

Zingano would almost assuredly get her shot at Zingano with a victory. That might not hold as true for Nunes, but a win over Zingano would certainly help her state her case for a title shot.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones puts his belt on the line in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC 178 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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