According to her manager, Cat Zingano should be returning to the UFC octagon in the next few months.
Zingano (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) hasn’t been in the cage since a quick submission defeat to then-champ Ronda Rousey a year ago.
The setback, which came in just 14 seconds, marked the first professional loss for the 33-year-old, who had defeated contenders Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes in her first two UFC bouts.
Zingano, who’s No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, has recently been posting training updates from her time in Thailand. And according to her manager, Ed Soares, it’s provided a spark.
“When she went out there to spend a month training, she really enjoyed it,” Soares told MMAjunkie Radio. “It really re-motivated her. She’s focused, and I believe you’ll be seeing Cat back in the octagon by the beginning of summer.”
That’s surely welcome news for fight fans, who saw Zingano post eight stoppages during a dominant 9-0 start to her pro career. And though the Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) loss left herstruggling for the words to describe it, the division recently got a shakeup when new champ Holly Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) defeated Rousey in November. Holm next meets Tate (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) on March 5 at UFC 196, and with a win in her return, Zingano could find herself right back in the title mix.
Soares said the timing is right, especially in light of her time in Thailand.
“Speaking with her this week, I was very happy to hear how motivated and focused she is, that she’s already talking about what she wants to do for her next camp and bring in some different trainers and things,” he said. “So it’s nice to hear her very motivated because we all know when Cat is motivated, she can be a very dangerous and always a very exciting fighter.”