UFC: 2017 Female Fighter To Watch, Cat Zingano

After a rough couple of years both inside and outside of the UFC octagon, Cat Zingano is one to watch in 2017.

An undefeated prospect by the name of Cat Zingano signed with the UFC back in 2013 and quickly announced her arrival and just what her intentions would be while under the promotions banner.

She met women’s mixed martial arts star and former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate in her UFC debut and the two would go onto have one of the greatest fights of 2013, an instant and very bloody classic in which Zingano would walk away the winner.

It was a fast and violent back-and-forth affair that saw both Tate and Zingano have their moments of brilliance but in the end it was ‘The Alpha Cat’ who landed the more devastating blows late in the third round that ended the fight. Some big shots, followed by beautifully placed knees caused the referee to jump in and save Miesha from further damage.

If you are making your UFC debut that is how you announce your arrival on the big show. The future looked extremely bright for Cat until life temporarily turned the lights out.

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Zingano was set to coach opposite champion Ronda Rousey on set of  ‘The Ultimate Fighter 18’ and at the end of the season would go onto to challenge Rousey for her UFC title. Well, that’s how it was meant to go but like i said life had other plans. On May 28th, 2013 it was announced that Cat had suffered a terrible knee injury that would indeed need to be surgically repaired and she would no longer be coaching on the show.

While recovering from surgery, undergoing PRP (Platlet-rich plasma) and stem cell treatments Cat watched her replacement Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey go at it during the length of the season all the while readying herself for a comeback in which she would meet either Ronda or Miesha. During which her and her family experienced a huge personal loss.

Her husband, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Mauricio Zingano committed suicide on Jan. 13, 2014, leaving behind a son. The loss would devastate Cat and delay her plans to return to fighting for the next 8-months. But just like in her debut Zingano showed the world why she is a threat to any female fighter on the planet.

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At UFC 178 Zingano engaged in yet another incredible fight inside the world-famous eight sided cage. This time her dance partner was Amanda Nunes who was coming off two violent stoppage victories over Germaine de Randamie and Sheila Gaff. The first round was all Nunes who used her striking to brutalize and batter Zingano who showed tremendous resolve to keep it together and survive the round.

It was almost as if after months and months of what can only be described as an emotional beating mixed with the physical punishment that Amanda handed out in the first round awakened a beast inside of Zingano, who came out in rounds two and three and just absolutely dominated her opponent, landing huge shots and throwing her around the octagon up until the referee had seen enough of the one-sided beating that was being handed out.

Cat Zingano’s UFC career is still in its infancy stage and we have a lot more to see from her.

The win quickly thrust Zingano back into the spotlight where she deserves to be and a fight between herself and reigning champion Ronda Rousey was booked for UFC 184.

While Zingano’s fairy tale ending after overcoming so many setbacks in her life may not have happened, thanks to a Ronda Rousey armbar, we are still blessed to watch her on the path to mixed martial arts glory.

Zingano’s UFC career is still in its infant stages as we have only seen her compete four times. She may be riding a two-fight skid right now after dropping her most recent fight to Julianna Pena but Cat has that something special inside of her. That something that no coach or trainer can teach. That something not every fighter has. That something is heart ladies and gentlemen.

The two ladies that she beat so viciously have both gone onto to become the UFC women’s bantamweight champion and that says something about what Cat is as a fighter. Since her loss Miesha has beaten Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye and then Holly Holm to become the champion. Nunes beat Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, Valentina Schevchenko, Miesha Tate for the belt and then defended it against Ronda Rousey in devastating fashion.

The things that Cat has overcome in the last few years, personally and professionally, is enough to send most people into a downward spiral but it didn’t. She remained strong for her son and overall for herself so she could continue to fight and continue to provide for her family and do what she loves.

Everytime Cat has a setback she comes back ten thousand times a better version of what we saw last, so in 2017 expect to see Cat Zingano 2.0 take over the division.

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