After five years of building herself into one of the most promising prospects in women’s MMA, Colorado bantamweight Cat “Alpha” Zingano has been given the opportunity of a lifetime with her recent signing with the UFC.
“I was really drawn back,” said Zingano when the news of her UFC signing became official. “I really wanted to make sure that I heard it from my manager because I was hearing it from the public, from the fans, everywhere, and I was just absolutely astounded. It was some of the best news I’ve heard in my life.
“It makes me feel like I want to go out there and do my best and be my best and I promise I will. I’m super-excited and I can’t wait to get out there and perform and entertain and make everybody happy that they got the opportunity to do this with me.”
Zingano feels her addition to the UFC will be an eye-opening experience to fans that are new to her.
“I have in me something that’s very special that I think is very different,” she said. “I think I bring a different intensity, a different mindset, and all kinds of things to the cage that people haven’t experienced before.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to have people know me for who I am and understand what this is all about for me. It’s good for me to be put in this kind of position because I’m ready to face life head-on and this kind of pressure is exactly what I need to grow.”
The timing of Zingano’s signing is such that she feels she’s experienced the necessary highs and lows coming off her last win against Raquel Pennington in Invicta FC in October to make the most of her UFC opportunity.
“I think it was exactly what I needed before this big break in my life because now I know what it feels like to go out there and win and still know that I could have done more and still be better and that I’m capable of so much more,” said Zingano. “I never want to feel that again. I want to walk out of the cage knowing that I left everything in there and that I did my absolute best.”
Zingano’s UFC debut is scheduled for April 13 against former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate in a bout she feels will be one not to miss.
“I think that the fight between me and Miesha is going to be very, very hardcore and I can’t imagine it going any other way,” said Zingano. “We’re both aggressive; we’re both high-risk-high-reward fighters and I’m very ecstatic to get in there and get it started. I almost wish I could be a spectator for it.”
Should Zingano get past Tate, an eventual match with current UFC champ Ronda Rousey could be around the corner, and while it’s not her immediate goal, it is something she’s keeping an eye on.
“I look forward to that fight, yes, but to look past any opponent is so dangerous,” said Zingano. “Right now I’m focusing on my fight and my life.
“I’m definitely in the here and now and am not looking too far forward as far as opponents, but I am looking at that belt. Whatever it needs, whatever it takes to get to that belt, that’s what I’m going to do and that’s what I’m going to focus on.”