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.

Related News

'UFC 188 Embedded,' No. 2: Headliners find motivation in different ways

  • 24 days ago
  • 7 views

It’s a new fight week, which brings the debut episode of “UFC 188 Embedded” and a preview of Saturday’s pay-per-view event. In this episode, the four headliners find motivation in unique ways.Filed u read news >>

Paul Heyman Talks CM Punk's Motivation, Mindset for Signing with UFC

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

In spite of months of silence, the upcoming MMA debut of Phil Brooks, better known by his professional wrestling moniker CM Punk, remains one of the biggest stories of 2015. Still, many questions rem read news >>

Bibiano Fernandes to headline ONE Championship debut next month in Myanmar

  • 15 days ago
  • 0 views

ONE: "Kingdom of Warriors" will take place in Myanmar on July 18, 2015 and the card is being headlined by a bantamweight title fight between reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and challenger Toni Ta read news >>

Jimmie Rivera replaces Entwistle, meets Marcus Brimage at UFC Fight Night 74

  • 4 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC’s debut in Scotland later this month has an updated fight set for the lineup with newcomer Jimmie Rivera stepping in for Ian Entwistle against Marcus Brimage. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 188: Fabricio Werdum on how losing to girlfriend's ex got him to where he is today

  • 25 days ago
  • 49 views

UFC heavyweight interim champion, Fabricio Werdum discusses how an impromptu BJJ match at the beach with his girlfriend's ex was the driving factor for him to get into martial arts. This weekend, in read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, June 9: Here comes 'Big' Ben Rothwell

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

Many folks (including the man himself) will say it’s long overdue, but Ben Rothwell has finally cracked the top 15 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings.Filed under: Bellator, MM read news >>

The MMA Hour - 285 - Brian Ebersole

  • 25 days ago
  • 0 views

Brian Ebersole talked about why he decided to retire after 70 pro fights on Saturday night. read news >>

The MMA Hour - 285 - Darren Till

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

Darren Till looks back at his memorable UFC debut and what's next for him. read news >>

UFC 190: Neil Magny vs. Demian Maia on tap for Aug. 1 in Brazil

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

It's time to find out what Neil Magny is made of. The streaking welterweight up-and-comer is going to face his stiffest test to date in the form of jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia when the two throw han read news >>

'UFC 188 Embedded,' No. 1: 'He's an American that thinks he's Mexican'

  • 26 days ago
  • 20 views

It’s a new fight week, which brings the debut episode of “UFC 188 Embedded” and a preview of Saturday’s pay-per-view event. In this episode, interim champ Fabricio Werdum takes a dig it at primarily read news >>