Like any fighter who gets thrown off the top of the mountain, “Alpha” Cat Zingano is ready to get back into the octagon and begin her journey back to title contention and it appears she’ll have another former No. 1 contender who is eager to welcome her to the fight game.
According to MMA fighting and UFC Tonight, former title contender and Olympic medalist Sarah McMann is up for the challenge to face Zingano (9-1, MMA, 2-1 UFC), who is coming off a 14-second loss to women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey at UFC 184. McMann recently experienced some octagon woes, after she dropped a majority decision to former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate at UFC 183.
A fight between Zingano and McMann (8-2, 2-2) make sense as both fighters have similarities. They are both dangerous on the ground, they both have impressive grappling and power and they are full-time mothers in addition to being fighters. They both also had their first taste of defeat at the hands of the Rowdy one.
Prior to their losses, both Zingano and McMann were seen by fans and experts as two fighters who had the best chances of defeating Rousey, of course those hopes were dashed during their respective fights with the UFC champion and became highlight reels. Although she wasn’t submitted like Zingano, McMann took a devastating knee to the body from Rousey. While some fans called referee Herb Dean’s stoppage too early, the damage was already done.
McMann rebounded from the loss, earning a split-decision win over former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Lauren Murphy, who was making her octagon debut.
Both fighters are also resilient in and out of the octagon. They have experienced the loss of loved ones and continued to step up and compete. While I was hoping to see McMann face former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman, I think a match with Zingano would be a good match.
There’s a strong chance that this would fight would go to the ground and stay here. While McMann has her wrestling experience, Zingano has a strong jiu-jitsu background and it will be interesting to see how those two mesh on the ground. Both fighters have devastating ground-and-pound and may be in a race to see who can gain top position.
Zingano and McMann have good striking and it could be anyone’s match on the feet. If the Olympian goes for a takedown, I see Zingano attempting to defend it, unlike Sheila Gaff, who left herself wide open to McMann. Both fighters have faced the best of the best and this bout would go all three rounds – or five if becomes a main event on a “Fight Night” card.
If Zingano wins, she will assert her status as the No. 1 contender and more and likely would another shot at the title. As for McMann, a victory would probably move her up in the rankings and maybe a match against the champion. At the very least, she could make a claim for a rematch against Tate, if the latter loses her scheduled match against Jessica “Evil” Eye.