Having to fight through adversity in her life and career is nothing new for UFC bantamweight contender Cat Zingano.
At UFC 232 on December 29, Zingano made her featherweight debut when she took on Megan Anderson. Unfortunately for the former bantamweight title challenger, 61 seconds would be all it took for her to suffer an unusual loss.
A head kick from Anderson would result in her toe going into the eye of Zingano which left her unable to continue.
After a wild week as it was already, it just made things even weirder for Zingano.
“That whole week was like a dream, I guess,” Zingano said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Like everything about it. Getting out there and everything changing… I don’t know. It just feels weird. Then on top of it, I didn’t really get to burn off fights and I’m not allowed to work out or get my heart rate up or anything right now so it’s just kind of complicated so… I don’t know. It’s another day in the life of Cat, I guess.”
Having already given an update on the status of her eye, Zingano currently sports an eyepatch that she says is helping the healing process.
Expecting to make a full recovery, Zingano does indeed plan on fighting again. However, there’s no timetable for her return.
“It’s better,” Zingano said. “[I had to] put on the eyepatch which was like, the last resort because I knew I was gonna catch hell for it but that actually has been helping a lot. They gave me these different drops, one is a steroid to help strengthen the retina. Another is to keep everything dilated so that it can heal and not be fluctuating as far as the muscle usage. Then pain killers. It’s coming along. I think I get the stitches out in a couple days too.
“It’s iritis and just retinal damage. Then there’s hemorrhaging on the back but they say the hemorrhaging has gone down and that the cornea is better but ya know… Waiting on that retina. So I guess that’s the trickiest part and something that potentially can get worse before it gets better depending on how you treat yourself.”
In the heat of the moment, Zingano looked back on it and made it sound like quite a horrifying position to be in as one might imagine.
“It was awful,” Zingano recounted. “I was like, ‘is this seriously how my career ends?’ I really thought I lost my eye. It was really scary, it was really upsetting. It’s just been a crazy road and for me to feel like that was rough.”
Since UFC 232, Anderson has made it clear that she is open to rematching with Zingano and Zingano now says she is hopeful that it happens.
However, Zingano will still attempt to get the loss overturned by the California State Athletic Commission to a no contest despite the strike being legal under the new unified rules of MMA.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/7/2019