It has been a long road back for Cat Zinagno.
The women's bantamweight contender has dealt with a variety of life's troubles, including multiple injuries and the death of her husband, which has kept her out of the cage since April 2013.
While the memories of her past will never fade entirely, she is excited to be back in the UFC Fight Week environment.
"It is very refreshing," Zingano told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "It is exciting to be around the fun and energy of this sport again.
"Life is a series of fixed problems. Either you break them down or they break you down. This is my opportunity to grow and learn and still find my way back."
While she has been absent from the octagon for over 15 months, both UFC President Dana White and champion Ronda Rousey have stated numerously that Zingano remains one of the division's top contenders. In light of that, she believes a win over Amanda Nunes will put her back in that coveted title challenger spot.
"I'm a better fighter than I was in that fight before. In that fight, I didn't represent myself or what I am capable of at all. That speaks nothing of my potential. So if she (Nunes) did look at that fight then that is good news for me cause I am way better than even that fight."