Former UFC title challenger Cat Zingano talks return to the octagon

After several months of sitting on the sideline, “Alpha” Cat Zingano is finally getting the itch to return to the octagon. She is currently ranked second in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division and after all of her time spent away from the cage she is still a serious threat to Ronda Rousey’s throne.

The two previously met at UFC 184 and walking into the fight, Zingano was viewed as Rousey’s most legitimate challenge to date. Undefeated at the time, Zingano impressed UFC spectators with her dominant performances over Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes. Zingano rushed the champion early on in their fight and paid dearly for it; She was submitted with an armbar in just fourteen seconds.

In the weeks leading into the fight, Zingano was dealing with tragedy in the form of her late husband committing suicide in January. The stress of the tragedy, training camp and her fight could push any normal person to the brink of retirement. Zingano took some time off from in-octagon action, though, to concentrate on being a single mother and improving her game. Now, she is ready to make a comeback in a big way.

“These last couple of years have been a lot,” Zingano told UFC.COM. “Everything kind of got thrown at me and I was forced to adapt under pressure. My plan was that I had to get through all this, I can’t take a break, I have to keep grinding and get through. The end goal was to beat Ronda and then take a break and kind of deal with life and what my new normal was with my son. Obviously I didn’t beat Ronda, but I still needed to regroup.”

During her time away from the octagon, Zingano has found newfound hobbies in her writing and drawing comic books. “It’s just to have other avenues so I can feel happy and not feel the stress of the things that have happened,” she said. “I’ve decided that I’m going to start writing about the things that have gone on in the past with in my life. I’ve also decided to start a comic book that has my perspective and the way I see things but with a lot of imagination — do it in a creative way where I can express it without words.”

When Zingano eventually makes her way back to the octagon, who should she square off with? Miehsa Tate? Does “Alpha” deserve an immediate shot at Rousey’s gold after their bout lasted only fourteen seconds? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM