UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Cat Zingano didn’t have any expectations coming into Bellator 245.
From here on out, however, Zingano (11-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) is focused on improvement – and her co-main event unanimous decision win on Friday over Gabrielle Holloway (6-6 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) at Mohegan Sun Arena was just the building block to make that happen.
“I immediately can see where I can do better and where I’m capable of doing better,” Zingano told MMA Junkie at a post-fight news conference. “(There were) different places and positions where we got stuck that I’m going to take back to the drawing board and work on. It’s definitely not a perfect performance. I have a ton of things that I could do better – and I will. I want to do better since I will.”
Zingano, 38, had not competed in almost two years prior to Bellator 245. The former UFC bantamweight contender had a rough go preceding and following her UFC exit in 2019. An eye injury, a go-around with Breast Implant Illness (BII), and having only one win since 2014, Zingano didn’t set expectations for herself before her return Friday.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Zingano said. So much has changed since my last fight. I just came in with an open mind knowing I worked extremely hard every single day of this camp. I fought every single sparring session like I fought here today. I just did everything I could think of to get ready, so I could come in here and bring my best.”
Despite her self-critiques, Zingano said she was proud of the win – even if it wasn’t, in her estimation, her greatest performance. A veteran of the sport, Zingano is keeping a level, balanced mind as her career moves past her promotional debut.
“Coming in here and getting that win and being able to take it home and show myself and show the people that I care about this exactly where I meant to be, silencing any doubt of my own or other people,” Zingano said. “Yeah, this wasn’t the greatest performance of my life. Gabby is a great, great fight for me to have. It’s only up from here.
“I’m also just still very humbled and know that at any moment you’re an underdog. At any moment, all of these people are tests, so I’ve just got to stay chill about it, keep working hard, take everything I felt, saw went through in this moment, take it home and prove it some way, shape or form.”
Bellator 245 took place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card aired on Paramount and streamed on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.