It’s been more than a year since Cat Zingano last set foot in the Octagon, but after several surgical procedures and knee injections, the UFC’s top women’s bantamweight contender has been cleared for a return.
Zingano on Tuesday tweeted the news that she had finally been given full clearance to begin hard training again.
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) May 6, 2014
Zingano rode an unblemished professional record into her UFC debut against former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate last year, and her arrival didn’t disappoint. She and Tate fought a tremendous battle with Zingano finishing it with a flurry of knees and elbows midway through the third round.
The victory put Zingano in the catbird’s seat for an Ultimate Fighter coaching slot and a subsequent shot at bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, but she suffered a knee injury in training before filming ever got underway for The Ultimate Fighter. In her stead, Tate took her coaching position and got the shot at Rousey.
Now that she’s cleared to fight, Zingano already has a welcoming committee forming with Sarah Kaufman leading the charge.
Also a former Strikeforce champion, Kaufman has been champing at the bit for a fight that would propel her into UFC title contention. Zingano would easily fit the bill.
Just read @CatZingano is cleared to train. Which means she will be ready to fight in a few months. Tune up fight in the summer? Ill be ready
— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) May 6, 2014
The only question now is if the UFC and Zingano will relent and put her in a fight against a top opponent like Kaufman prior to her getting a shot at the belt after Ronda Rousey and Alexis Davis fight at UFC 175 on July 5.