Cat Zingano was supposed to make her Strikeforce debut in Sacramento this weekend at the now canceled Melendez vs Healy fight card. Now that it’s canceled, undefeated sensation Cat “Alpha” Zingano (6-0) of Denver, CO will rejoin the much-anticipated Invicta 3 fight card at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 6 and battle highly-touted prospect Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (3-1) of Colorado Springs, Colo. in a featured bantamweight (135 pounds) matchup. Invicta FC announced the news in a press release Wednesday.
Pennington’s original Invicta FC opponent, Kim Connor-Hamby, has withdrawn from the event due to injury. Zingano was originally tabbed for action on the Invicta FC 3 card, but Invicta FC officials sent her to Stikeforce after the opportunity to face Nunes, a top contender, arose.
Following the cancellation of Zingano’s scheduled Sept. 29 Strikeforce matchup with Amanda Nunes, Invicta FC officials offered Zingano and Nunes the opportunity to square off with each other on the upcoming Invicta FC card. Nunes was unable to take the opportunity because she has suffered an injury.
“We are excited about bringing Cat back into the fold and to be able to give her the opportunity to compete on an Invicta FC card after preparing as much as she did for her scheduled fight with Amanda,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp.
The 5-foot-6, 30-year-old Zingano tip-toed her way into combat sports after becoming the only girl to join her high school wrestling team and, later, competing in college where she earned All-American honors.
In 2007, she began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Mauricio Zingano, whom she later married, and went on to win a number of tournaments, including the 2007 World Jiu Jitsu Championships. Her success in the grappling art and a third round TKO victory in her only amateur MMA bout were the catalysts behind the launch of her professional fighting career.
Pennington’s start will be her second in the Invicta FC cage. She earned a unanimous decision over Sarah Moras at the last Invicta FC event on July 28 and, less than six weeks after that, returned to action in Honolulu, Hawaii where she submitted Raquel Pa’aluhi with a guillotine choke in the first round (3:52) of their meeting.
Tickets for Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama, priced from $25, are on sale and can be purchased at Memorial Hall box office (913) 549-4853), online at Ticketmaster.com and InvictaFC.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.