After months on the sidelines healing up from an eye injury, and regaining her confidence, UFC star Cat Zingano is looking to be in fight camp by the end of the year.
Las Vegas, NV — With International Fight Week in full swing and an army of UFC athletes in town, Las Vegas was swarming with familiar faces this week. At the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, ‘Alpha’ Cat Zingano was one of many in attendance — and she took the time to speak to Cageside Press about her role as one of the first moms in the UFC, as well as when she hopes to return to action.
The Hall of Fame setting, of course, was making just about everyone reflect on their careers. “Everything I’m out here doing I’m hoping leaves a mark on my legacy,” Zingano said to that end. “Something that my descendants can remember me for.”
Among them, being a Fight Mom. “I think being a mom is tough, spreading yourself thin between having these goals, this size of goals and trying to also be a parent, not only a parent a good parent, but a present parent.” It’s a juggling act that Zingano called “a struggle. There’s definitely zero balance to it.” So the key is “trying to find as much balance as you can. Trying to be great at something, and at multiple things, is very very difficult.”
Zingano (10-4), who holds memorable wins over current champ Amanda Nunes and former champ Miesha Tate, is happy to show others the way. Even by “just trying to be patient with it, showing other people it can be done. It’s math, you’ve got to figure out what fits where, but it can be done.”
Ultimately the platform she has is a great outlet for her, she said. “It’s a big deal to be doing what it is that I do, and I’m very grateful. I’m grateful people even look at me like that. And I do hope to serve as an example as far as how strong [moms] can be and how much we can get done.”
No talk with Zingano these days would be complete without an eye update. In her last fight, a move to featherweight against Megan Anderson at UFC 232, Zingano ate a nasty high kick that saw her opponent’s toe embedded in her eye.
“It’s good, it’s definitely better,” she said of the injury. “It was rough there for a while. The physical damage was obviously huge and a really stressful, big problem, but at first it was real mental too.” Overcoming the mental obstacles required “just slowly adding myself to different challenges, different ways to kind of expose myself to things, to deal with any kind of nerves that were coming up. I crushed it, and I smashed them, and I started training hard, getting ready to hopefully take a camp, and get going again soon.”
The injury, she admits, “was nasty, real nasty. I got to go home with some homework, things I wanted to learn. Especially keeping my hands up a little bit better.”
The Megan Anderson loss (the fight was ruled a TKO due to injury) is also one she’d like back. “That would be a cool rematch.” But whether it happens or not, “I want to start looking for another match and a training camp going into the end of this year.”