Cat Zingano Back in the Octagon. When is the UFC Veteran’s Next Fight?

Cat Zingano is a veteran American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight division. She made her professional MMA debut in 2008 and joined the UFC in 2013. Zingano is known for her aggressive fighting style and impressive striking and grappling skills. She has faced many of the top fighters in the 135-pound weight class, including Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, and Miesha Tate. Some of Zingano’s biggest career highlights include winning The Ultimate Fighter 18 exhibition bout against Miesha Tate and headlining UFC 184 against champion Ronda Rousey. After over a decade as a professional fighter competing at the highest levels, Zingano remains one of the most experienced and dangerous contenders in the UFC women’s bantamweight division.

Background on Cat Zingano

Cat Zingano, nicknamed “Alpha,” is an American professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division of Bellator MMA. She started her MMA career in 2008 after training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and earning her purple belt. Some key career highlights for Zingano include:

Zingano made her professional MMA debut in June 2008, defeating Karina Taylor by TKO. Over the next few years, she built up a record of 6-0, with all wins coming by stoppage.

In April 2013, Zingano earned a UFC contract by defeating Miesha Tate at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. This win was considered a major upset at the time.

After overcoming serious knee injuries, Zingano returned to competition in July 2016, defeating Julianna Peña via TKO. She was awarded Fight of the Night honors.

At UFC 222 in March 2018, Zingano moved up to the Featherweight division and defeated Ketlen Vieira by split decision. This fight earned Fight of the Night honors as well.

Overall, Zingano has compiled a professional record of 12-5, with 9 wins by stoppage. She is known as an aggressive, crowd-pleasing fighter.

Zingano’s Recent Fights

zingano's recent ufc record

Cat Zingano has had a mixed run in her last 5 UFC fights, going 1-4 over the past 5 years (source). Her latest fight was a submission loss to Megan Anderson at UFC 232 in December 2018. Before that, she had a TKO win against Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez in July 2017. This win snapped a 3 fight losing streak for Zingano.

Some of Zingano’s other recent fights include a unanimous decision loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 200 in July 2016 and a submission loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 184 in February 2015. That fight against Rousey lasted just 14 seconds and was Zingano’s first UFC title shot. Overall, while Zingano has struggled to string together consistent wins lately, she remains a dangerous and experienced fighter in the women’s bantamweight division.

Injuries and Setbacks

injuries disrupted zingano's career

Zingano has suffered her fair share of injuries throughout her MMA career. In 2014, she suffered a severe knee injury that required surgery and extensive rehab, forcing her to withdraw from a title fight against Ronda Rousey at UFC 178 [1]. Prior to that, Zingano endured a dislocated jaw, broken ribs, and other knee injuries [2]. Most recently in 2018, Zingano suffered a serious eye injury during a fight that required multiple surgeries and months of recovery [3]. These major setbacks have disrupted her career momentum at times but demonstrated her resilience in coming back to compete at the highest level.

Next Opponent

Zingano’s next opponent is expected to be Cris “Cyborg” Justino, the current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion. Cyborg called out Zingano as her desired next opponent in a recent interview with MiddleEasy (source). The two were originally scheduled to fight in 2015 for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship before Zingano suffered a knee injury.

zingano fights cyborg next

Cris Cyborg is one of the most dominant female fighters in MMA history. She is a black belt in Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and capoeira. Cyborg has held titles in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, UFC, and now Bellator. She has an overall professional MMA record of 25-2 with 21 knockouts. At 37 years old, Cyborg is still competing at an elite level and defending her Bellator title.

A matchup between Cyborg and Zingano has been anticipated for years. If it comes to fruition, it would likely be one of the biggest fights in Bellator history, pitting two of the best featherweight fighters in the world against each other.

Details on the Upcoming Fight

Cat Zingano is scheduled to fight Cris Cyborg at Bellator 282 on July 22, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (MMA Facts). The bout will take place in the women’s featherweight division.

This fight will be a rematch from a previous bout in 2014 where Cyborg defeated Zingano via TKO in the 3rd round at UFC 182 (Tapology). Both fighters have been eager to run it back after their first meeting over 7 years ago.

The Bellator 282 main event pits two of the most experienced women in MMA against each other. Zingano is a former UFC title challenger and Cyborg is the current Bellator women’s featherweight champion. This is an important fight for the 145lb division.

Analysis and Prediction

analysis of the cyborg matchup

Zingano is one of the most experienced fighters in women’s MMA. She has faced a who’s who of top talent throughout her career including Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, and Holly Holm (UFC 184: Latest Fight Card Predictions and Projected Winners). At 40 years old, she likely only has a few fights left in her career.

In her last fight against Pam Sorenson at Bellator 282, Zingano showed she still has something left in the tank. She utilized her strong grappling skills to dominate Sorenson on the mat and earn a unanimous decision victory.

McCourt presents an interesting matchup for Zingano. The Irish fighter is undefeated at 6-0 and has looked impressive in Bellator. She has good Muay Thai skills and underrated grappling. However, she has never faced someone with the experience and well-roundedness of Zingano.

Expect Zingano to try to implement her wrestling game early. If she can get McCourt down, she should be able to control the action and possibly sink in a submission. McCourt will look to keep the fight standing and land hard kicks and punches. She has the power to trouble Zingano if she can stuff the takedowns.

This is a close matchup between a savvy veteran and an up-and-coming contender. Zingano’s experience and grappling skills should be the difference though. Look for her to grind out a hard-fought decision victory over McCourt.

Betting Odds

As of January 2023, the latest betting odds for Cat Zingano’s upcoming fight have her listed as a +180 underdog according to Tapology. This means if you bet $100 on Zingano to win, you would profit $180. Meanwhile, her opponent is currently listed as a -200 favorite, meaning you would need to bet $200 just to profit $100 on a win.

The betting lines indicate that Zingano is facing an uphill battle as the underdog against a heavily favored opponent. While she has proven capable of scoring upsets in the past, the oddsmakers are not giving her much of a chance this time around.

Of course, betting lines can shift leading up to the actual fight as more wagers come in. For the latest odds, check your favorite regulated sportsbook as the fight date approaches. But for now, Zingano is a sizable underdog who will likely need an extraordinary performance to emerge victorious.

Viewing Options

Zingano’s next fight will take place at a UFC pay-per-view event, which means there are several options for fans to watch the action live:

The main way to watch will be by ordering the pay-per-view through your cable or satellite provider. This will give you access to the live broadcast of the full fight card. The pay-per-view is generally priced around $69.99 for HD viewing.

For cord-cutters, the fight can be ordered directly through ESPN+ pay-per-view for the same pricing. ESPN+ subscribers can also purchase the event as part of a bundled package.

Additionally, many sports bars, restaurants, and movie theaters will broadcast the pay-per-view event. Check local listings to find a location in your area showing the fights live.

Finally, highlights and fight replays will be available on YouTube and UFC Fight Pass after the event ends.

Conclusion

After a three-year layoff due to injuries, Cat Zingano will finally return to the octagon for what could be one of the biggest fights of her career. She will face rising star Megan Anderson in a pivotal bout for the women’s featherweight division. A win for Zingano proves she is still a top contender and back in title contention after her long absence. However, a loss would be devastating and could signal the end of her storied career.

At 37 years old, Zingano doesn’t have many years left competing at the highest level of MMA. This fight represents her chance to show she still has enough left in the tank for one more run at the title. With a renewed focus and proper preparation, we may see a vintage performance from “Alpha” Cat. But ring rust and injuries could hamper her efforts against the younger, hungry Anderson.

The stakes are incredibly high for Cat Zingano heading into this matchup. Her legacy and future title hopes hang in the balance. After spending three years on the sidelines, she’ll leave it all in the cage against Megan Anderson. This fight will demonstrate if Zingano still has the drive, skills and perseverance to compete with the best women’s featherweights in the world.

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