Headlining an event in a championship match against a fellow Top 10 ranked fighter could be stressful for anyone, but for women’s 125-pound star Cat “Alpha” Zingano, it’s a challenge she relishes.
“I love the pressure and I love to compete,” she exclaims. “I’m making my way to fighting top girls, big names, and it means a lot to me to be considered one of these girls.”
As Zingano points out, being given the opportunity to defend her title on Saturday against fellow star Takayo Hashi, at Fight to Win’s “Outlaws” event in Denver, is a sign she’s earned the respect of the community.
“It’s a huge compliment,” she told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s a big deal to me and I appreciate these opportunities.
“Not to toot my own horn, but I work very, very hard, and to be acknowledged for how hard I work and that it’s paying off, it offers a lot more to me than just confidence. It means a lot to me to be able to give back to my fans, my team, and the Zingano family.”
Since her victory over Carina Damm in December, Zingano has further sharpened her striking skills, in addition to her already outstanding wrestling.
“We have opened up an entirely new Muay Thai program at our school with five-time world champion Sakmongkol (Sitchuchoke) as our instructor, and he is amazing,” said Zingano. “I’ve absolutely been working my butt off in Muay Thai, and my striking has grown leaps and bounds, as well as my jiu-jitsu.
“I expect this fight is just going to be a more talented, more technique, more well-rounded fight than I’ve ever had.”
In Hashi, Zingano once again faces a seasoned fighter that she views as another in a line of constant challenges as she moves up the ranks.
“I know she’s got a black belt and has competed a lot before, but I have as well in different areas, and I’m excited to see the stylistic match-up,” stated Zingano. “It’s a good opportunity for us to put on a really, really good show.”
While Zingano hopes to expand her opportunities elsewhere after this weekend’s fight, she would like to settle a local dispute with Michelle “Bobcat” Blalock over a coveted Colorado title.
“The Ring of Fire managed for there to be two different belts at 125 pounds. She has one belt and I have the other. With that, I feel like we should have to fight each other to find who is the true champion at 125,” commented Zingano.
“Michelle is a good person, a good friend, and all that aside, I think we’d have a great fight. If it’s not in the cards for her at this time, she just doesn’t want to take the fight, I’m fine with that. I really hope that it can happen, but there are other people, other fights.”
She continued, “I really don’t try to stay hung up on belts or the prize or this or that, I just really like to compete.
“So far I’ve been pretty fortunate to stay in Colorado and have all these fights in my backyard, but this year I’m really looking to get out, visit new places, fight new people, see new faces and enjoying making new fans.”
Never someone who lets circumstances dictate her actions, Zingano looks to continue to tackle any challenges that comes her way head-on in 2011.
“I’d like thank Zingano BJJ & Muay Thai, Rockstar Nails, Fight Chix, Instant Imprints Westminster, MrsJuicePlus.com, Forged Fuel, Ricky Vasquez, Ink’d Out, American Ground N Pound, A Nu Do Salon, Tussle Fight Gear, Burn Machine, Dollamur, and Jus’ Buttitos” she closed out.
“Everybody come see us, it’s going to be a great fight. I love the opportunity to represent the United States; I’m motivated, ready and it’s going to be a great show.”