Cat Zingano may have been gone for a while but she’s never forgotten.
The former UFC title contender returns this weekend where she will face Ketlen Vieira in what could ultimately be a No. 1 contender’s bout in the women’s bantamweight division.
While Zingano is coming off two straight losses, she faced nothing but top five ranked fighters and former champions since arriving in the UFC and just so happens to hold wins over the current champion and No. 1 contender in the division.
Zingano was the last fighter to hand Nunes a loss after she TKO’d the Brazilian in a bloody battle back in 2014. Add to that, Zingano also holds a victory over Nunes’ next opponent Raquel Pennington from 2012 when they met in Invicta Fighting Championships.
To make matters even more interesting, Zingano has even offered to move up a division to face fearsome UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. In other words, Zingano is ready to fight for UFC gold again, no matter who stands in her path.
“Yeah, I want that title fight. I want that belt,” Zingano said ahead of UFC 222. “I want that belt because of what it means to me and what I’ve been through. I’ll take what I can get at this point. I’ve got my eye on all these champions.
“I see Cyborg, I think that she’s beatable. I know Amanda’s beatable. I broke her. Raquel, I felt her quit, too. These are the caliber [of opponents] I’m seeing right now and it’s all completely doable for me.”
“I see Cyborg, I think that she’s beatable. I know Amanda’s beatable. I broke her. Raquel, I felt her quit, too.” ~ Cat Zingano
Of course, Zingano isn’t losing sight on what’s right in front of her and that’s an undefeated submission specialist in Vieira, who already shocked the world once when she tapped out Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann in her last bout.
Zingano feels very confident in that matchup as well as she looks to reintroduce herself to the UFC and the women’s bantamweight division with a win on Saturday night.
“Respect is for before and after the fight. Once they close that door, all I want to do is just break her and sign her with my blood,” Zingano said.
“She’s not going to do to me what these last couple of opponents did. I refuse it. Regaining my place, I exiled myself to get ready for what I’m about to do and I’m back to take what I’ve earned. I’ll be damned if she gets in my way.”
Do you think Cat Zingano puts herself into a position to fight for the title with a win at UFC 222? Sound off in the comments and let us know!