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

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

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 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 >>

Video: Check out Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor unveiling new UFC 'fighter kits'

  • 28 days ago
  • 21 views

NEW YORK CITY – The UFC and Reebok today unveiled their new “fighter kits,” and the organization’s biggest stars, including champion Ronda Rousey and UFC 189 headliner Conor McGregor, were there to m read news >>

Pros react to UFC unveiling of Reebok fight kits

  • 28 days ago
  • 74 views

The long-awaited debut of the UFC's Reebok fight kits arrived on Tuesday, and reaction from the fighter community has been decidedly mixed, to say the least. For examples of the new gear, click here. read news >>

UFC's new Reebok fight kits have some humorous errors

  • 28 days ago
  • 269 views

The UFC and Reebok unveiled their long-awaited fight kits today, but some of them didn't turn out as intended. After waiting forever for the UFC and Reebok to put out their fighter uniforms, or fight read news >>

Pic: New UFC uniforms revealed during Reebok 'Fight Kit' press conference

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held a special media press conference earlier today (Tues., June 30, 2015) in New York City to unveil its long-awaited "Fight Kit" from Reebok. Watch the video re read news >>

Live stream: Watch official UFC-Reebok 'Fight Kit' press conference video here

  • 28 days ago
  • 15 views

Today is the big day! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will reveal its Reebok "Fight Kit" during a special media press conference today (Tues., June 30, 2015) in New York City, which means mixed read news >>

Video: Watch today's UFC-Reebok 'fight kit' press conference at 10 a.m. ET

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

The UFC today hosts a press conference as officials and nearly two dozen UFC fighters unveil the new Reebok “fight kits,” and you can just us for a live stream of the festivities today at 10 a.m. ET read news >>

Teammate: Jose Aldo will train today, 'probably won't fight' at UFC 189 if pain gets worse

  • 28 days ago
  • 66 views

According to his training partner, Jose Aldo wasn't even able to walk normally last week, will decide if he can fight in first post-injury training today. read news >>

Holbrook in for Injured Koch vs. Nijem

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Unbeaten as a professional, Indiana's Andrew Holbrook will make his UFC debut close to home, as he faces Ramsey Nijem in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night in Chicago on July 25. read news >>

Slow Burn Towards UFC Debut Hurting Buzz for CM Punk

  • 28 days ago
  • 26 views

A year ago, CM Punk was one of the hottest names in combat sports. Not in professional wrestling. Not in MMA. He was one of the hottest names in combat sports. The controversial superstar made a surp read news >>