Zingano is currently the #5-ranked pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world by MMARising.com and the #3-ranked 135-pound female fighter according to the Unified Women's MMA Rankings. As of 7 August 2017, she is the #7 contender in official UFC women's bantamweight rankings.
Zingano began her career in combat sports with wrestling at age 12. She attended Fairview High School (Boulder, Colorado) where she got involved with combat sports after joining the wrestling team. She eventually became part of both the University of the Cumberlands (2001) and MacMurray College women's wrestling teams and became a 4-time All-American and National Champion.
In 2007 Zingano discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), shortly after she started to compete and won many tournaments including: the World Championships (Mundials) in Los Angeles, and the Rio de Janeiro State Championships in Brazil, along with several State titles in Colorado.
In October 2007, after doing a few months of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Zingano competed in her first amateur Mixed Martial Arts fight and instantly knew that MMA was something she wanted to compete in.
Zingano made her pro MMA debut on June 13, 2008, and submitted Karina Taylor with an armbar in the first round. She won championship titles in three of her first four pro fights.
On December 10, 2010, Zingano faced Carina Damm at Crowbar MMA: Winter Brawl in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She defeated Damm by TKO in the second round.
Zingano next faced Takayo Hashi at Fight To Win: Outlaws on May 14, 2011. She defeated Hashi via knockout from a slam in the third round.
Zingano was scheduled to face Anita Rodriguez at Invicta Fighting Championships 1, but she was forced to withdraw from the card due to an injury.
Zingano had signed on to face Amanda Nunes at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy on September 29, 2012, but the event was cancelled when Gilbert Melendez, who was set to defend his title against Pat Healy, sustained a knee injury in training that forced his withdrawal from the card.
Zingano instead faced Raquel Pennington at Invicta FC 3: Penne vs Sugiyama on October 6, 2012. She defeated Pennington by submission due to a rear-naked choke in the second round.
In February 2013, it was revealed that Zingano would participate in the second women's match in UFC history. She fought Miesha Tate on April 13, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. Zingano defeated Tate by TKO in the third round. The bout was named Fight of the Night.
As the winner of the bout, Zingano was set to become a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 18 against Ronda Rousey and be the next challenger for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. However, on May 28, it was announced that Zingano was out as coach/opponent for Rousey after she had suffered a knee injury earlier in the month which required surgery and had been replaced by Tate. On October 3, 2013, Zingano underwent PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) and stem cell treatment on both of her knees at Ortho Regenerative Institute with Dr. Fady Elias in Costa Mesa, California.
After nearly a year and a half away from the sport due to injury, Zingano returned to the Octagon in the fall of 2014. She faced Amanda Nunes on September 27, 2014 at UFC 178. After losing the first round, Zingano came back in the two subsequent rounds to win via TKO in the third round. After the fight she said "That whole first round, I just got my head caved in, I was dizzy; I couldn't be in light for a month. I put on like 30 pounds because my pituitary gland got knocked around and my hormones were all screwed up. I had never been hit like that in a fight. You know, it really freaked me out because it was like, man, I am my son's only parent. If I'm all screwed up and I can't drive and I can't work and say this injury is so bad I can't fight anymore...what if I'm incapable of doing that? I can't get to the point where my brain is mush and I can barely talk, because my son's life depends on my health."
A matchup between Ronda Rousey and Zingano took place at UFC 184 for the women's bantamweight title. Zingano was quickly submitted in the fight's opening seconds.
Zingano returned to face Julianna Peña at UFC 200 on July 9th, 2016. She lost the match by decision, with judges all returning 29-28 scores in favor of Peña.
Zingano married Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mauricio Zingano in 2010. Her husband committed suicide on January 13, 2014. She has a son named Brayden, making her the first mother to compete in the UFC.Ultimate Fighting Championship
Fight of the Night (One time)
First woman to win a UFC "Fight of the Night" award (together with Miesha Tate)
Ring Of Fire
ROF Women's Flyweight Champion
ROF Women's Bantamweight Champion
Fight To Win
FTW Women's 125 lbs Champion
FTW Women's 130 lbs Champion