Time changes everything. Whether it be a time of healing or a time of growth, the progression of time changes the format of life. It’s an undeniable fact.

If you’re looking for a clear-coated example, look no further than the UFC’s newest addition of 135-pound female fighters. Just a year ago, the thought of women fighting in the UFC was obscure. More than a mention of it would have caused one to frown the most sarcastic of frowns.

But here we sit, just two weeks removed from the first women’s main event showdown in UFC history, where Ronda Rousey defended her golden strap in an electric submission win over Liz Carmouche. However, it’s not just Rousey who has taken the world of MMA by storm.

Enter Cat Zingano.

Zingano (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Who?, one might ask. Well, you’re about to find out.

Zingano, new to most MMA followers, has yet to be defeated in her professional career. After seven consecutive wins, Zingano and her team got the nod from the UFC to take part in just the second women’s bout in UFC history. It’s an opportunity that certainly won’t be taken lightly by the Colorado native, who will step into the Octagon with Miesha Tate at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in April.

“I’ve been competing in wrestling since I was in junior high school,” admitted Zingano in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “But now with the 135-pound division added to the UFC, it’s gone crazy.

“I’ve been extremely excited and honored to be a part of the first group of girls to be signed to the UFC, and I plan on taking full advantage of the opportunity. The UFC had all us girls sitting in the front row for [UFC] 157. It was amazing the amount of energy that was in the arena, especially when the girls started fighting. I absolutely plan on fighting for the belt soon.”

In order to earn a shot at the unbeaten Rousey, Zingano will have to plow her way through Tate, something that won’t be done very easily. Tate, who’s fallen just one time in the last four years, will look to return to the throne with hopes of seeking revenge against Rousey after being stripped of her Strikeforce title just one year ago.

“I wanted to fight the best and find the fastest way to the belt. Miesha Tate is that person. My coach, Mauricio Zingano, and my manager, Ricky Vasquez, came up with the idea after my Invicta FC fight. Ricky reached out to [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby and asked for the fight,” Zingano explained. “We did a media campaign letting the fans know we wanted to fight Miesha Tate in April.

“We’re very similar in styles. I feel she hasn’t faced anyone like me from a skill-set perspective, but I know she’s never faced anyone with my aggressiveness. She’s good from the submission game, but I’m not bad from that perspective either. Most people don’t know, but I was the only U.S. woman to qualify for the 125-pound division of ADCC in 2011.”

Zingano fully understands the challenge and opportunity at hand.

“This opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime, and I’m taking full advantage. This means the world to me,” Zingano said. “I’m ready to help pave the way for all women who aspire to fight.”

Top Photo: Cat Zingano (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)