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Cat Zingano signs multi-fight deal to compete in Bellator’s featherweight division

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Cat Zingano
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cat Zingano is back. And when she competes again, it will be in the Bellator cage.

MMA Fighting confirmed with promotion officials that the onetime UFC title challenger has signed a multi-fight deal to compete in the promotion’s featherweight division. The news was first reported by ESPN.

Zingano, 37, was released by the UFC in August following a 1-4 slump, with her most recent loss taking place at UFC 232 this past December. At that event, Zingano (10-4) fought Megan Anderson and lost in just 61 seconds after a kick from Anderson caused an eye injury that led to the bout being stopped.

Zingano later appealed the loss to Anderson, arguing the rules concerning toes to the eyes weren’t specific enough and needed a legal revision. Her appeal was unsuccessful.

After an extended run with the UFC, Zingano was suddenly released from the promotion in August. She later issued a statement explaining the release was “mutual” and stemmed from her desire to work on a personal project rather than accept the promotion’s timeline for her return.

“Alpha” began her career 9-0 with notables wins over Amanda Nunes, Miesha Tate, and Raquel Pennington before.

In the main event of UFC 184 in February 2015, Zingano lost via 14-second submission to then-bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

No date or opponent has been named for Zingano’s Bellator debut.