Cat Zingano Likes Her Chances Against Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes or Raquel Pennington

Cat Zingano isn't looking past her fight this weekend but she feels very confident in her chances to become a UFC champion in 2018

Considering Cat Zingano’s track record, it’s understandable why she feels like UFC gold should be in her future.

Zingano holds a TKO win over women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, she submitted Raquel Pennington in her last fight before joining the UFC and she tried to land a fight with Cris Cyborg when it seemed like no one was willing to step up to that challenge.

Of course, Zingano isn’t losing sight of her fight this weekend against undefeated grappler Ketlen Vieira at UFC 222, but with a win the former UFC title contender feels like she should be right back in the thick of the title hunt.

“I know that the UFC recognizes real,” Zingano said ahead of her return on Saturday night. “They’ve always kept me in those top positions, kept me in the top of the rankings. I know the rankings are kind of a joke but the fact that every fight I’ve had is either a No. 1 contender fight or a title fight, it’s evident that I’m always kind of up there being considered for that position.

“I’ve been told this fight is a very high likely potential for the winner to get a title fight.”

Zingano is competing on the same card where Cyborg will go for the second defense of her UFC women’s featherweight title in the main event. Meanwhile, Nunes is expected to face Pennington in May with the bantamweight title up for grabs.

Zingano doesn’t seem to care which championship fight gets thrown her way first, just so long as she has a chance to finally wrap UFC gold around her waist.

“Yeah, I want that title fight. I want that belt,” Zingano said. “I want that belt because of what it means to me and what I’ve been through. I’ll take what I can get at this point. I’ve got my eye on all these champions.

“I see Cyborg, I think that she’s beatable. I know Amanda’s beatable. I broke her. Raquel, I felt her quit, too. These are the caliber [of opponents] I’m seeing right now and it’s all completely doable for me.”

Obviously, Zingano is a natural 135-pound fighter so the best possible scenario would be for her to win at UFC 222 and then face the winner out of Nunes and Pennington.

Zingano doesn’t care much about who wins that fight considering she already has wins over both of them but even she admits there would be something special about beating Nunes again considering how dominant she’s been as champion.

“I feel great in fighting either of them. The fact that Amanda is the defending champion now and if she beats Raquel she will have had the belt for three fights and I take it from her on her fourth [title defense] that would make me feel great,” Zingano said. “Clearly, she will have established herself as the most dominant champion in a while at that point so that would feel great to go out there and just snatch it out of her hand.

“Raquel, she’s great, she’s got what it takes to be up there in contention. I just don’t get the same feeling [about her].”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.