Cat Zingano has plenty of new challenges that await her as part of the Bellator roster, but that doesn’t mean she’s against revisiting fights from her past as well.
Just recently, the one-time UFC title contender mentioned she’d be interested in a rematch against former opponent Miesha Tate, who recently announced a career comeback. While Tate remains a UFC fighter, Zingano would love to figure out a way to schedule a second fight after they first clashed back in 2013.
On that night, Zingano finished Tate with a huge knee strike and a barrage of elbows that helped her win in her octagon debut. Despite that definitive ending, she said she would still be more than happy to offer Tate a rematch now that she’s making her return to active competition.
“I mean we don’t have the best blood between us,” Zingano explained when speaking to MMA Fighting during the Bellator 256 media day. “There’s some history there that will probably never make us want to go get beers, but a couple years ago, I got asked by ONE FC to do a super fight jiu-jitsu match against her, and either I was about to have my surgery, or I just had my surgery, so I wasn’t able to do it.
“So I knew that she had been itching. I knew that she was getting the ‘I want to do this stuff again’ itch. It’s a hard thing to stay out of, MMA fighting, the training, the camp, all of it, it’s like this pain game that you love it, but you hate it, and you keep coming back for more.”
Add to that Zingano knows that Tate has previously questioned the stoppage in that first fight, which makes a rematch that much more enticing.
“She had always said before in some interviews that I was the only person that she would come back from [retirement] to fight in MMA as well,” Zingano said. “Cause she has that loss against me, and I know that there some things that she had said as far as it being, I don’t know, debatable, or she thought it was an early stoppage, or she thought something about a knee earlier in the fight, that she was down or illegal. There’s a lot of unanswered questions for her for that fight, apparently, and I felt great with how it went.
“I was actually proud of us because we put on a damn good fight. We hit every type of martial art that can go into MMA, and so to hear that she had any kind of bitterness about it was a bummer, but that also means she’s a competitor. She would want to fix something like that, so I’d give her that. I would like to see what happens, too.”
Unlike the Tate rematch, which would mean squaring off with an opponent that was already defeated, there’s a controversial loss on Zingano’s record she would also love to avenge. In her first featherweight fight back in 2018, she faced former Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson in a matchup that could have potentially led to a title shot in the division.
Just over one minute into the opening round, Zingano got caught with a head kick from Anderson. The damage done wasn’t from the blow landed, but rather a toe that actually gouged her eye. It was a freak occurrence, but under the rules when Zingano was unable to continue, Anderson was declared the winner.
Now three years later, Zingano is still fighting at 145 pounds in Bellator, and Anderson recently became a free agent following the end of her UFC contract.
“I mean she didn’t touch a hair on my head,” Zingano said about Anderson. “Literally, not one. Just a toe in my eye. They made a rule change after that saying that is officially a poke, and now, I guess there’s a five-minute time allotment, the same thing if you get a finger to the eye or something. So happy to be a part of history again in the sport. Not necessarily in that disgusting way, but it’s something that I want to fix.
“I do think that I was doing good in the beginning of that fight. I was feeling really good during that camp. It was my first fight up at 145. I got ready for it like a beast, and it was just this weird, unfortunate ending that just feels very incomplete. So yeah, I would totally like to see that. If she comes over, I would definitely like to revisit that.”