Since the start of September, Bellator MMA has welcomed three former stalwarts of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to the rival promotion.
Flashback to Sept. 3, when it was announced by Bellator MMA president Scott Coker that Cris Cyborg would go to the UFC’s archrival, ending Cyborg’s free agency after slightly over one month.
Cyborg joined Bellator after discussions between her camp and the UFC had soured.
Her first fight takes place on Saturday, Jan. 25 in Bellator LA, a Women’s Featherweight title contest in which she challenges incumbent champion Julia Budd for the belt.
Just last Thursday, Sergio Pettis, who most recently fought during UFC on ESPN+ 17 on Sept. 21 vs. Tyson Nam in a Flyweight undercard fight, also joined Bellator MMA.
At this time, there’s no word as to when Pettis will make his Bellator MMA debut or who it will be against, but we’ll keep you posted.
Now, on Tuesday, Cat Zingano, who was the first woman in the history of the UFC to win a fight by way of TKO back in 2013 against Miesha Tate in The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen’s live finale on FX (in her UFC promotional debut), has joined Bellator.
Counting Bellator’s acquisitions of Bec Rawlings and Myles Jury, Zingano’s signing makes five ex-UFC athletes that have joined the promotion since June.
Zingano’s move comes 10 months to the day after sustaining a TKO loss in an FS1 Women’s Featherweight prelim against Megan Anderson [the penultimate live UFC fight shown on FOX Sports’ family of networks after seven years.]
She sustained an eye injury in the first round and was unable to continue.
Zingano’s career so far:
Cat Zingano (real name Cathilee Zingano) began her professional MMA career in June of 2008 by way of first-round armbar vs. Karina Taylor in Ring of Fire 32, securing the Ring of Fire Women’s Bantamweight title.
She followed it up with an anaconda choke submission in the second round of her fight vs. Angela Samaro during Ring of Fire 33 the following January.
After, Zingano won twice in the Fight to Win promotion along with winning the Ring of Fire Women’s Flyweight title (she would also win the same championship in Fight to Win, as well as the Fight to Win Women’s Bantamweight title.)
At 6-0, Zingano fought in INVICTA FC 3 against Raquel Pennington, winning by second-round submission due to rear-naked choke in October of 2012.
This would prove to be Zingano’s only appearance in INVICTA, as she was signed by the UFC shortly thereafter.
In addition to winning by TKO against Tate in her debut, she scored the Fight of the Night bonus, pocketing $50,000.
She’d go on to post a record of 3-4 in the UFC and has gone 1-4 in her last five fights, having last won in July of 2018 vs. Marion Reneau.
No announcement has been made as of yet regarding Zingano’s Bellator MMA debut or her opponent. We’ll keep you posted.
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