Cat Zingano may be the sleeper of the bunch when it comes to the arrival of the women’s bantamweight division to the UFC, but don't expect that to last for long.
Without many big stages for women to display their skills prior to the UFC starting up the 135-pound class built around current champion Ronda Rousey, Zingano has flown under the radar of all but the most ardent fans.
UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, however, know exactly who Cat Zingano is, and that’s why she is squaring off with former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate for her first fight in the Octagon. Not only that, but the two have an Ultimate Fighter coaching slot opposite Rousey and a title shot up for grabs for the winner.
Rousey, as well, knows full well who Cat Zingano is. In fact, she’s had her eye on Zingano for quite some time, and is actually looking forward to her arrival, although she may quietly pose one of the greatest threats to Rousey’s title reign.
“She's one of the only other undefeated 135ers at the moment,” Rousey told Inside MMA. “I think it would be nice to have Cat win just to have another name that's kind of well known among the girls ranks.”
Zingano (7-0), however, isn’t star struck by the accolades or her arrival. She may not have fought in the white-hot lights of the UFC yet in her career, but she knows what it takes to be successful, and she knows what is on the line. She isn’t going to deviate from what go her here.
“I just really want to implement my style and my skill (against Tate),” Zingano recently told AXS TV’s Inside MMA crew. “This is a good fight for both of us. It should be high risk, high reward for both of us.
“I have my eye on prize, which is that world title. Miesha is the task at hand and that's what I'm focusing on,” Zingano continued. “I'm looking straight at her. I'm not looking past it.
“(I'm gonna) go in there and leave everything I have in that cage, and you can guarantee that.”
Many UFC fans may not yet know who Cat Zingano is, but rest assured, they will soon enough… when she goes toe-to-toe with Miesha Tate on April 13 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in Las Vegas.