UFC vet turned Bellator fighter Cat Zingano has been linked to a high profile fight with former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg a few times in the past but it never came about. The reason Zingano gave was that Cyborg refused to be properly drug tested ahead of their fight. The claim was labeled a ‘smear campaign’ by Cris who claims it was Cat’s excuse to avoid a bout with her. Needless to say the animosity hasn’t subsided and Zingano spoke with MMA Fighting about the continued drama. She claims that the bout was never officially offered to her.

I wasn’t offered that fight. I know coming into Bellator, we talked about how that was going to be a fight that we had for sure. I know also coming into Bellator, all of my footage of fighting was in the UFC — there was licensing stuff there, so they can’t promote me and they can’t use any of my fight videos or highlights, can’t even really talk about me without it being a licensing thing with the UFC. So they really wanted me to fight fights here and get tape, get reel, give me good matches against good 145-pound girls, and I’m relatively new to this weight class. So putting me in there and figuring it out, I wasn’t offered Cyborg.

Bellator head, Scott Coker claimed after Bellator 274 that the fight was offered:

So basically Cat wanted to have one more fight before she fought Cris. I don’t even think she was the one who really made that call, it was her manager. So the manager said we want one more fight. So we said okay and we put together the fight for her. From there if she wins, she can fight Cris…

Cat suffered an eye injury in her last UFC fight with Megan Anderson but she has bounced back since her jump to Bellator by winning two in a row. She hasn’t competed since April of last year and laid out the conditions it would take to get her to accept the Cyborg fight.

Independent testing for both of us, independent resource, just making sure there are no biases, there’s no people that we know, and just making sure everything is fair. I did tell them in the beginning there were things that I want to do, where both of us would do, to make sure it’s a fair fight, and to make sure it’s a safe fight. And with those guidelines, it just never came out.

Cyborg spoke with MMAFighting and said:

Sounds like Cat Zingano doesn’t want to fight. Hopefully she enjoys being on the YouTube prelims.


Cat claims those requirements are the real reason the fight never materialized. Would you like to see that bout?

By Sean McClure

Sean McClure was the AFL marketing Director. He also wrote for MaXfighting and BJPenn before finding his true home at PMN. He is a retired ring announcer and former sparring partner to many mixed martial artists.