Cat Zingano continued her successful start to her Bellator MMA career at Bellator 282 on Friday night, taking a unanimous decision over former Invicta FC featherweight champion Pam Sorenson. The win gave ‘Alpha Cat’ her third straight win in the Bellator cage following victories over Olivia Parker and Gabby Holloway.
After the fight Zingano made it clear that she feels now is the time for her to finally take on Cris Cyborg, who currently holds the Bellator featherweight title.
“I do (think I should get a title shot),” Zingano said to MMA Junkie. “I feel like I’ve done a good job moving up the ranks in Bellator and getting the experience. The environment is here. Me and Cyborg are here. We’ve both been talking about each other for quite a while. Putting it together obviously makes a lot of sense.
“I think we have very different styles, and different styles make awesome match-ups. I think that’s cool and I think it’ll be interesting. We’re both OGs and we both came from training in the same kind of hard-knocks environments to come up and still figuring it out and making it happen.”
Zingano might have to wait to face Cyborg, depending on the condition of her right knee. It appeared as though she may have taken some damage to that area during Friday night’s fight.
When the UFC opened its doors to women’s divisions, it looked as though Zingano may become one of the stars of the company. In 2013, in the UFC’s second ever women’s contests, she mauled future champion Miesha Tate to earn a shot at recently crowned bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
However, a serious knee injury ruled Zingano out of the title fight (and a spot coaching opposite Rousey on the first ever The Ultimate Fighter season featuring women).
Zingano returned to action in 2014 and beat Amanda Nunes, another future champion. That earned her the fight with Rousey. However, her title fight lasted just 14 seconds after she dove into an unorthodox armbar.
Zingano only fought four times in the five years that followed. Over that time she beat Marion Reneau, but lost to current bantamweight champion Julianna Pena, Ketlen Vieira and Megan Anderson.
Cris Cyborg won the Bellator featherweight title by beating Julia Budd at Bellator 238 in 2020. That was Cyborg’s debut for the company after being released from the UFC (a promotion where she also won a featherweight title).
Cyborg has defended the Bellator title on four occasions.