Now, on April 13, 2013 , they’re in the spotlight at the Mandalay Bay arena in Las Vegas for her biggest fight yet, against Miesha Tate. They must have wondered if Zingano was in over her head. In the offseason, she showed up at gyms looking to learn. Rogers’ boyfriend was later convicted of first-degree murder. This is her great trait in the cage: Hit me and I’ll hit you harder. As she walked into the frenzied venue, leading her team’s procession to the cage, Zingano started sobbing. But this is who she is — raw and real, no apologies. Tate sprinted out when the horn sounded, grabbed Zingano around the waist and, just five seconds in, slammed Cat to the mat. She pushed her way into a practice session at nearby Lyons High, where some of the area’s top prep wrestlers worked out. Leister Bowling, on his way to becoming a three-time Colorado champion, didn’t want Zingano anywhere near his mat. In a practice session, he intentionally shattered her cheekbone. “I don’t feel like I recovered from that,” Zingano said of her time in college in the early 2000s. Mauricio taught her how to do so in a brutal introduction to a vicious sport. But when somebody gets a good one off on me, it makes me really mad. I want to punish them.” Tate was about to be punished. Chatfield native Chad Curry spent his high school wrestling career earning win after win, ending his career with a second place finish in the Minnesota State High School wrestling tournament in 2008.But, finding athletic success in a professional arena is hardly the usual outcome, despite being the dreams of many.“My father-in-law, Troy Swancutt, introduced me to the sport,” says Curry.“He was a big fan of it before I even knew what it was.” Curry was instantly intrigued by the sport.
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Her opponent, reigning champion Ronda Rousey (10-0), is an Olympic bronze medalist in judo, a star of action movies, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Zingano, by contrast, is a relative unknown, having built a career that has been both rocky and “Rocky,” from her modest start wrestling at Boulder’s Fairview High School. Amanda Nunes (TKO) Tate wriggled out of the guillotine.
In her corner on fight night she will have two coaches and two close friends. Raquel Pennington (submission) April 13, 2013: W vs. She flung a rigid jab that landed on Zingano’s chin, stunning Cat.
The toughest woman in Denver runs and hides in a far corner of a gym locker room. But on this day she’s suffocated by emotions — of loved ones lost — and concern about her upcoming fight after a sloppy sparring session. A stranger saunters into the locker room, spots her curled up and sobbing and says, “And I’m thinking, ‘It’s not OK! She doesn’t know what I’m doing,” Zingano said later. Clearly she was trying to be helpful, but I needed her to go away, now. Each time there was a simultaneous feeling of hope and hopelessness.
So I just said, ‘Thank you’ and put my head against the wall.” Saturday night, the 32-year-old Zingano (9-0) will fight for the UFC women’s bantamweight title, the headline bout on a pay-per-view card at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The following day, she asked one of their jiu jitsu students to go by Mauricio’s home.