In mid 2013, Cat Zingano was undefeated. She had just beaten Miesha Tate and was signed to coach The Ultimate Fighter 18 opposite Ronda Rousey with a title fight guaranteed at the season’s conclusion. She was exactly where she wanted to be until life intervened.
A knee injury forced her out of The Ultimate Fighter coaching position and out of the title fight. In January 2014, her husband passed away throwing Zingano’s life into disarray. In a six month span “Alpha” had lost everything.
After 17 months away from fighting healing physically and emotionally, Zingano returned to the Octagon at UFC 178 in September 2014 against Amanda Nunes. She was battered in the opening round but came back to finish Nunes in the third. Nunes, of course, went on to win the women’s bantamweight title in July 2016 by defeating Tate.
Zingano last fought at UFC 200, the same fight card that Nunes defeated Tate to capture the title. She’s expected to return to action after a lengthy layoff at UFC 222 on March 3 against Ketlen Vieira. While Viera is next for Zingano, she’s eyeing an eventual rematch against the champion she holds a win over.
“If you’re thinking my first fight back after I blew my knee, after my husband passes away, my coach, my gym, my everything is gone that that was my best, that’s not right,” said Zingano during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
“I constantly hear, ‘Oh, she’s gotten better since then. She’s gotten better since then. That wouldn’t happen again.” It’s like, how do you think I haven’t I gotten better since then? I never stopped training for one, and for two, everything was in her favor on that fight. Every thing was in her favor. I was a mess, and I still broke her. I made her quit. That’s the difference. She quit. My point is, that fight, and she knows it. That’s why every single time anything has come up with her and people start throwing her at me, she says, ‘Sure. I’d love to fight Cat, I mean after she gets another win. Okay, another win as long as it’s not against her,” continued Zingano.
While Zingano has been sidelined since July 2016, she’s out to prove that she hasn’t gone anywhere when she steps back in the cage next month.
“I get it, and I get that I need to fight back. And I’m more than happy to do that. I like earning my food. I like earning my meals. I’ve never stopped training. I’ve never stopped improving. Not even just in the gym, but at life,” she said. “It’s weird that I’m calling her (Nunes) out. If I were champion I’d want to fight everyone that ever scored on me ever. So it’s a little different.”