Former UFC title challenger Cat Zingano has joined Cris Cyborg on the unemployment line, though it’s unlikely she will stay there for long.
Cat Zingano is no longer a UFC fighter. On Wednesday, MMA Junkie was first to report that the former women’s bantamweight title challenger had been cut by the leading MMA promotion. The move comes at a bizarre time, as despite struggles, ‘Alpha’ was coming off a fluky loss to Megan Anderson, and had told Cageside Press she expected to fight again this year.
Following the news making the rounds, Zingano posted an image of a rather grumpy looking cat (but not Grumpy Cat) on social media. Or maybe that’s an angry cat. Either way, she tagged the post #fightlife, among other things.
Zingano also released a statement to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, explaining that a current project outside the UFC may have led to her release.
“I didn’t want to take the ultimatum this time,” Zingano said in the statement, which can be found over at ESPN. “So I guess you can say it was mutual. I had a project that was very, very important to me, and to the MMA community and fans, and I needed to put me, my son, my training and that first before I had anything to give to the UFC. It’s sh*tty timing, but it happens, and I’m still a fighter and ready to f*ck sh*t up.”
Zingano (10–4) started her career 9-0, which led to a title shot against Ronda Rousey. However, a loss to Rousey in 2015 was the start of a three-fight losing streak. Zingano also suffered through personal tragedy, mainly the loss of her husband to suicide in 2014. She was also the first mother to compete in the UFC.
‘Alpha’ turned things around after winning a unanimous decision against Marion Reneau in July. She then jumped up to featherweight, only to have her debut fight against Megan Anderson end early due to a toe poke, ruled a TKO finish for Anderson. A rematch was widely expected, but it looks like that is off the table.
Zingano, 37, who holds a win over bantamweight and featherweight champ Amanda Nunes, now joins Cris Cyborg as an incredibly attractive option on the free agent market. Something Scott Coker and Bellator MMA will likely have their eye on.