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Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013

Cat Zingano Says The UFC Belt, Not Ronda Rousey is Important; Wants Miesha Tate

Undefeated rising star Cat Zingano

By Joshua Molina

It’s not that Cat Zingano doesn’t think a lot of Ronda Rousey. It’s that Cat Zingano doesn’t think of Ronda Rousey at all.

“I don’t consider her anything superhuman,” Zingano told Full Contact Fighter. “I don’t consider her. She’s entitled to the way she acts. That’s not the way I act. That’s not the way I would ever act. She has what I want. I have not called out Ronda Rousey. I am calling out the winner of that fight (against Liz Carmouche). It’s the belt that means something to me.”

Instead, the undefeated Zingano (7-0) is calling out Miesha Tate, in hopes of taking part in the second women’s match in UFC history. Unlike, Rousey, Zingano has good things to say about Tate.

“She’s the former champion,” Zingano said. “I want to get that fight against her. She is a tough opponent. I think I have what it takes to go out and beat her and then move to facing whoever will hold the belt after the next UFC women’s fight.”

Zingano said she wants to step up her level of competition.

“Miesha is talented,” Zingano said. “She is real scrappy. She can back up what she says she can do. She is classy and she carries herself well.”

Zingano said she and Tate represent something positive in women’s MMA.

“We’re athletes,” Zingano said. “We both represent something different in MMA other than going out there and talking shit. We are women. It’s not about bullying. It’s not about being an asshole. It’s about going out there and fighting.”

Born in Colorado, Zingano wrestled in high school, becoming a four-time All-American and National Champion. The 30-year-old at one time had dreams of trying out for the U.S. Olympic team.  She wrestled and beat guys in high school.

“The majority of my wrestling career I was the only girl on the team,” she said.

Along the way, she pissed off a lot of people. She didn’t care.

“Many coaches wouldn’t shake my hands after I beat their boys,” Zingano said. “Many boys wanted to see me quit, but I didn’t have quit in me.”

But after that she said that she lost her passion. Right after high school a close friend of hers died, and she said she felt “pretty screwed up about that.”

In her last effort, Zingano (right) choked out Raquel Pennington at Invicta FC 3 on Oct. 6, 2012. Photo credit: Esther Lin/Invicta FC

Later she developed two bad staph knee infections, which led to multiple surgeries. She said she was laid out and depressed.

“There was just something about the sport,” she said. “When I needed the passion it wasn’t there.”

Her last wrestling match was in 2004 in the Dave Schultz Memorial  International.

She remembers watching Sara McMann in the 2004 Olympics.

“She and I wrestled before and I did feel sad that I missed out on something that I potentially could have done well in,” Zingano said.

She struggled for three years looking for an outlet.

In 2006, she found Jiu-Jitsu. The art rekindled her passion and she believes she became a better Jiu-Jitsu fighter than wrestler.

She brings all her abilities into the MMA cage, combined with aggression and heavy strikes, Zingano has looked unstoppable.  She has three wins by KO and three wins by submission. She said she’s never been hurt in a fight.

“I am not satisfied with decisions,” Zingano said. “I would really be upset with someone being able to dispute whether I won. I am all about finishing. I am not a point-getter. I like to go out and finish and be in control of that person.”

And she wants the UFC strap. She also draws inspiration from her mother, who died young from cancer, and her happy, healthy 6-year-old son.

“I just really want to fight the best,” Zingano said. “I have no problem proving myself. I have done it my whole life.”

posted by JoshuaM @ 11:08 pm
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