Sara McMann at the Athens Olympics (Getty)The UFC officially opened its cage door to women on Saturday night, when bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey defended her belt with an armbar win over Liz Carmouche. Several more women have been added to the women's bantamweight division. The list includes Cat Zingano and Sara McMann, who are the first mothers to join the UFC.
For Zingano, her six-year-old son Braden is the main reason she stopped into Zingano BJJ, the gym run by her now-husband. While trying to get back into shape after her son's birth, she stopped in to see a friend who was training at Zingano BJJ. She tried jiu-jitsu and lost the baby weight in three weeks.
With a background in wrestling and new BJJ training, she wanted to try a fight, just once. Since then, she has gone 7-0 with just one win coming by decision. Zingano will fight former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate on April 13 in a title eliminator.
Zingano knows that her journey is not just about her. She has to take her son into consideration with every fight.
"I have to consider what this looks like to my child. Every fight I go into, hands up. I don't want to explain to my child why I have stitches across my face," Zingano said. "I really want him to see my job as positive. Yes, injuries happen, and things can go wrong in a cage. Being so young, I want him to know that this is about passion, it's about an outlet for me that I love."Read More »from New UFC fighters Cat Zingano and Sara McMann bring maternal instinct to the cage