It has been a long time since we last saw them inside the Octagon, over a year in fact, but we won’t have to wait much longer.

UFC´s first female strawweight champion Carla Esparza and former bantamweight title contender Cat Zingano are ready to bounce back from their most recent defeats. Both coming off devastating losses in a title fight in their most recent bouts, one losing their title as champion, and the other one, having her opportunity of becoming one taken away in just 14 seconds.

After a year away from the sport, given time to lick and heal their wounds – Esparza and Zingano are ready to return to the ultimate proving ground, and Zingano is teasing big fight announcement in the summer of 2016.

This is what Zingano had to say to AXS TV’s Inside MMA correspondent Ron Kruck in a video interview (March 25, 2016).

UFC has to be the one who breaks it [news about opponent], I’ll just tell you that’s going to be epic, you are gonna love it and it’s going to be in the beginning of the summer, so my birthday is July 1st, I’ll just let you know that, it’s either going to be a early or late birthday present.

What does Zingano talk about when she says ‘Epic’? Can we safely assume that usual suspects Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate are off the table?

Is Cat talking a potential match up with the 145-pound wrecking machine that is ‘Cyborg’ Cristiane Justino? Could it mean that movie star and former Strikeforce featherweight champion Gina Carano is making a comeback?

No clue, but I’ll tell you what. Any of those two would be epic. (Note: Well, that Cyborg matchup is out – ‘Cyborg’ Justino to Make UFC Debut Against Leslie Smith at UFC 198)

Since Esparza lost her title, she has been keeping herself mostly out of the, sometimes intense, MMA media. But, in recent days, Esparza has taken to twitter to call out to the UFC and her fans, the first and former UFC strawweight champion is ready to take a fight.

Well, Esparza didn’t get a fight at UFC 199 as she had previously suggested, she instead is stepping in on short notice against Juliana Lima after Lima’s original opponent Jessica Aguilar had to be pulled off the card after suffering a torn ACL in her left knee that ultimately had her undergoing surgery.

UFC 197 already has two title fights scheduled for the event on April 23rd. A rematch between the current light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier against the man many see as the pound-for-pound best, the now-former light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.

The co-main for that night on April 23rd is another title fight in flyweight, between the long-running champion Demetrious Johnson and the Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo. Now that we also know the former strawweight champion will appear on the card, making her comeback after more than a year away, I think that would be a good way of easing Esparza back to the big stage, under the bright lights, and the pressure that comes with it. And in the same moment, given her a chance to gain back some momentum.

And if the thought of waiting until April to see these fighters leaves you with some time on your hands, check out NZ Online Casino Guide and try your hand at making some extra dough leading up to the fights!

About The Author

Christian Larusson
Staff Writer

Christian Larusson is a passionate Mixed Martial Arts fan. With experience in writing for Swedish MMA sites, he now solely writes in English through blogging, PunchDrunkSports and The MMA Corner. Got his heart broken early in his life when a friend, ‘Judas’, told him that WWE/WWF wasn’t real. Then one day, he saw MMA on a friend's computer, he was overwhelmed with emotions from what his eyes had just seen. He´s been in love ever since. Christian has been published in different Swedish papers and books, nothing to do with MMA though, so who gives a shh-.

  • Juchi

    I figure Pena will be Zingano’s next opponent. Pena’s legal issues have been resolved (for now) and she was calling out Cat in December. You’ll have to forgive Cat’s hyperbole about an epic fight, as it’s par for the course. Should be a good one though.