clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Former UFC title challenger Cat Zingano signs with Bellator

New, comments

Cat Zingano is Bellator’s second big-name signing for its women’s featherweight division in the past couple months.

UFC Fan Experience Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Cat Zingano has a new home.

The former UFC title challenger has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator, promotion president Scott Coker announced Tuesday. Zingano will compete in the women’s featherweight division. ESPN first reported the news.

Zingano, who is 1-4 in her last five outings, was released by the UFC this past summer. She said it was a “mutual” parting of ways due to her wanting to focus on a personal “project” rather than accept a fight that suited the UFC’s schedule.

Zingano suffered a controversial first-round TKO loss to Megan Anderson at UFC 232 last December. Anderson attempted a head kick, her toe entered Zingano’s eye, and Zingano was unable to continue. Zingano appealed the result, arguing eye pokes from toes should hold the same merit as eye pokes from fingers. Her appeal was unsuccessful.

Zingano’s fight with Anderson marked her 145-pound debut. Bellator does not currently have a women’s 135-pound division.

“Alpha” fought for the UFC women’s bantamweight title in 2015 against Ronda Rousey, losing by submission in 14 seconds. That was her first pro loss but would prove to be the beginning of a rough patch in her career. Zingano, 37, is 1-3 since that bout.

Two of Zingano’s three Octagon wins are finishes of current two-division champion Amanda Nunes and former 135-pound champ Miesha Tate.

A date and opponent for Zingano’s Bellator debut has not yet been announced.

Bellator also recently added former UFC champ Cris Cyborg to its featherweight division. Cyborg will meet champion Julia Budd in January.