USA TODAY: UFC's fighting moms find motivation in children


sara-mcmann-5.jpg(This story appeared in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

There was a moment in Cat Zingano‘s UFC debut this month when she decided she was done getting beaten up.

It came shortly after the horn sounded to end the first round, when her opponent, former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate, pushed off Zingano’s face to get back to her feet.

“That was an insult to me, my family, my training camp and everything I sacrificed to get there,” Zingano told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “After that, I wanted to make sure she remembered me on her face by the time the fight was over.”

Two rounds later, Zingano (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) achieved that goal. She battered and bloodied Tate (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with knees and elbows, forcing a referee stoppage midway through the third round and sealing a dramatic comeback victory.

Zingano became the first mother to win a UFC fight, a feat the 30-year-old said she didn’t fully appreciate until the fight was over.

“I think being a mother definitely gives me an advantage,” said Zingano, who added that the birth of her now 6-year-old son, Braden, was part of what drove her to pursue her passion for combat sports. “I wanted to do something with my life that he could be proud of, something that would show him the importance of having something you’re passionate about.”

That’s a sentiment fellow UFC bantamweight and Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann can relate to.

McMann (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won her UFC debut last weekend in UFC 159 in Newark. Her 4-year-old daughter, Bella, watched eagerly as her mother took down German striker Sheila Gaff (10-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and pounded her into a first-round TKO stoppage.

“To her, it’s just like, ‘There’s Mom doing what she does,’” McMann said.

After the fight, McMann remarked on how surprised she was at her lack of nerves for her UFC debut. In her role as a mother, however, things are rarely as simple.

“I can be at peace with my career much easier,” she said. “I know what I’m doing there, and I know what I need to do. … But as a mom, you never know if the choices you make are the right ones. It’s harder because there’s no clear right answer.”

Take the lengthy, grueling training camps MMA fighters endure, for instance.

They often mean sacrificing family time, which is exactly what Zingano was thinking about when Tate used her face to get up.

It’s also why it might have been the worst mistake Tate made all night.

“To call myself a fighter is to be selfish at times,” Zingano said. “It makes me resent my opponent. That’s motivation I can tap into. When I think about protecting my son and fighting for him, that’s a big threat in a fight. If I can go there, it makes me unstoppable.”

For complete coverage of UFC 159, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Sara McMann)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 20 days ago
  • 21 views

UFC champion Ronda Rousey discusses her upcoming UFC 184 title fight against Cat Zingano and believes Zingano is the most risky opponent she could face. read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 views

Despite the magnitude of UFC 182 and a number of pivotal matchups, this week’s USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings didn’t see many changes, and a familiar name remains on top.Filed under: Bellato read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 25 views

"Cat Zingano is an extremely unique fighter, not only is she undefeated, but she's shown an amazing ability to deal with a lot of adversity. There's been a lot of times in her fights where she's been read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

Now that Johny Hendricks will be fighting Matt Brown at UFC 185 in March, just who gets the next crack at current champion Robbie Lawler's title is back up in the air. According to a report on UFC To read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 7 views

Lorenz Larkin didn't find much success as a middleweight. Sure, he beat Robbie Lawler in his 185-pound debut three years ago, but since then, he dropped four out of five, including all three of his U read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 0 views

STOCKHOLM – British middleweight Luke Barnatt today announced he’s returning to action on April 4, when he’ll face fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 17? top pick Clint Hester.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 8 views

Four-time UFC veteran Isaac Vallie-Flagg today announced he’s no longer employed by the sport’s largest promotion.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

Consider it a postponement. Burgeoning women's MMA talent Holly Holm was supposed to meet Raquel Pennington in her UFC debut earlier this month. That didn't happen when Holm injured her neck. But tha read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

One of the biggest questions regarding the MMA career of Phil Brooks, better known by his ring name of CM Punk, was what gym he would join ahead of his UFC debut. Well, we have the answer. According read news >>