"Alpha" Cat Zingano (9-2) has to be the most emotional fighter I admire inside the UFC.
What do I mean by that?
I mean her thought process on why she does something is so reflective, it's hard not to feel what she is feeling. I look at it as magic in some way...
When we watch fighters sometimes we vicariously live ourselves through them and you might not even know it. When they win, YOU WIN WITH THEM, yet when they lose, you have nothing but empathetic sympathy for them at the same time.
You can feel the nerves, the sweat, the pain, the overjoy, the tears, the anxiety, the happiness, the power AAAAAALL OF IT.
For me, that is Cat Zingano.
What intrigued me about Zingano was during her almost coach season of TUF when she faced against the tough Miesha "Cupcake" Tate (18-7) in order to become side by side coach against "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey (12-2) to fight for the belt in the end. Cat had to drop out because she had a meniscus tear inside her knee that required ACL surgery before her moment to shine.
Remaining undefeated and constantly on the radar, the timing couldn't have been worse.
That injury is when everything changed.
While watching her documentary "Alpha & Omega" on Religion Of Sports, it had me UGLY CRYING 100% liiiiiike...
When talking about her husband that committed suicide, before that was shooting up oxy. The same medicine Zingano needed and used post-surgery was being used for the wrong reasons because he was just at a loss.
Personally coming from a party lifestyle before I got out of that continuous cycle, it made me think of the number of people I've known who lost their lives that way among other things.
I meaaaan RIP homies, honestly...
It really was fucking depressing and a bit triggering to watch knowing she has a little boy to take care of and couldn't do it all on her own at that moment. From everything in the world crashing down on you and it seems you have no control, yet the darkest of demons in someone else's life you just aren't able to see or catch onto is unjustifiable.
For Zingano to get it together after those moments for the sake of her son, Brayden was eeevvveeerrrryyyttthhhiiiinnnngggg. I don't see how all the women especially Mothers who are forcibly widowed into something so dark can move forward.
However, Cat did. She kept fighting...
UFC needed her to become relevant again. By this time she has been out for so long something had to become active inside that octagon.
She faced Amanda "Lioness" Nuñes (15-4), who is now the current women's bantamweight Champion, 4 years ago during UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso. Even though Cat won that fight, she kept pushing forward.
But little did she know...
During a seminar at ASD in Santa Clara last year, Zingano was hosting it. In my mind, I didn't want to miss it for the world. But at the same time I actually almost didn't end up going for personal reasons.
I was training Muay Thai weeks before and was going down for a FUCK-ING BUR-PEE YO WTF like any person would at the moment. I jumped back up and ALL OF THE SUDDEN uhhhh what do you knoooooooow my bone just popped out of my knee.
It was all during circuit training yet I kept my mouth shut because as I looked around everyone was in a rhythm. I made the executive decision to pop it back in without anyone noticing and errrrr kept training?
YA. I DID THAT.
I walk my ass out of the uber into the parking lot towards the doors with a vengeance thinking I could hide this gigantic grey knee brace over my black workout pants to then run into Cat. She wastes no time looking at me then looks down and asks, "What's wrong with your knee?!?!?"
Now, I knew I shouldn't have been training. I also had a shoulder injury too from who knows what. Yet, I was so star-struck but had to tell her the truth. I then remained in those glass doors and didn't look back.
I was used as an example with Cat a few times going over drills. I FELT HER POWER. She is a beast in the best possible form. Literally, while I was being tossed around like a rag doll I felt that shit in the most beautiful of ways. She has so much inside of her to unleash. Add all that to her mental state and emotion inside the cage?? FUUUUUUCK.
Towards the end of the seminar, she begins to go a bit more in-depth about what she was going through on a personal level with the UFC.
Like... she admitted she got FUCKED UP in the 1st round against Nuñes. But once that 2nd round hit it was all over for Nuñes... aaaaaaaall the way into the 3rd.
Zingano knew she had to use whatever emotion she had inside of her to come through and do what she had to do to make sure everyone remembered her face that night.
If you re-watch that fight from the walkout to the hands being raised SHE WAS FUCKING READYYYYYYYYYYYYY.
She explains in previous interviews that when she was getting beat so hard she was life-giving it to her for everything that she was enduring, but in the end, she didn't let them win.
After the historic loss to Ronda during record time in their main event at UFC 184 and Julianna "The Venezuelan Vixen" Peña (8-3) at UFC 200, she realized she needed to take some serious time off.
From her brain injury from Nuñes, it was fucking up her thyroids which then fucked up her hormones. She has a team of doctors on her side and entered into the world of Micro Current Technology. This was something she decided to test because it's supposed to help heal the brain at a lower frequency.
In a way, she was acting as a tester for all the other fighters inside the UFC because her damage just came from one fight. Imagine others in multiple fights getting smashed OVER and OVER in the head. Even when you're dehydrated after a tough weight cut, I can't even imagine full blows to the head.
Sounds dangerous AS FUCK to be clear with you...
Apparently, that is what happened to Zingano after dealing with the hardest-hitting female in the division. From the sounds of it she is healthy and training, but its still an everyday journey dealing with the loss of her husband even after 4 years. She knew she was sick and dealt with it in the way she knew how.
UFC then put her on "Medical Retirement" and that is why we haven't seen her for a hot second aside from UFC 200.
Zingano was like:
But really though...
Around the time when the featherweight division was opening the UFC asked Cat to go to 145 lbs to fight Holly "The Preachers Daughter" Holm (11-4) for the belt! She was down and feeling good. Of course, she said yes. Although, she found out on Twitter not long after the agreement that instead Holm was fighting Germaine de "The Iron Lady" Randaime (7-3).
Cat was pissed for sure. Then they went down the list to offer her some others like...
Ashlee "Rebel Girl" Evans-Smith (5-3), but said no.
Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche (11-7), but ya she said no too.
Sara McMann (11-4), but yaaaa betch she also said no damn.
Then she said fuuuuck it and took some time for herself.
She has seen it before and has a positive outlook. Taking it one step at a time.
But nowwwww IN CURRENT TIME we will be seeing the return of "Alpha" Cat Zingano on March 3rd in Las Vegas against the undefeated bantamweight, Ketlen "Fenomeno" Vieira (9-0).
I think the majority of us are ready for the return of Zingano.
The moment she walks through towards the cages of that octagon it will be hard to not feel everything at that moment. Because regardless of what happens it's safe to safe she will give HER ALL inside of this fight. For everything she had to endure over the years, it's easy for any human to feel to the point of walking away. Before the thought comes into your brain to give up, Cat explodes nothing but hope that you can go through hell and back yet still come out pure yet humble AS FUCK.
She's back y'all.
Find me inside the T-Mobile Arena on March 3rd.