Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, the biggest prize on the line goes to the winner of former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano. Winner gets a coaching slot on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter against Ronda Rousey, culminating with a title shot at her belt.
Undefeated Cat Zingano wants that, and more. She wants greatness.
"As a child, I never knew exactly what it was, but I knew I was meant to be great at something, Zingano told Bleacher Report. "I'm not average. I know what I bring to this sport, and any sport I've ever competed in, has been more than what the average person brings."
"In many different sports in my life, every time, I came, I saw, I conquered... With the other sports, they all eventually fizzled out. But with MMA, I'm constantly learning new things and there is always a new challenge."
"I refuse to look past this fight. I'm looking at Miesha dead on. I'm taking her very seriously. I know there are added bonuses and prizes to be won if this fight goes well, but nothing will take my eyes off her.
"I'm excited about the opportunities available, but I know in order to get to any of those I need to get through this fight successfully. I don't want to just be successful, I want to be extraordinary. I want to be amazing and everything will happen the way it's supposed to."
"This whole thing is about a personal accomplishment to me. I'm not trying to be famous and I don't want my face on a Wheaties box. I'm really out here because I want to be the best at what I apply myself to."
"Will I be sad if the women's division dies out? Absolutely because I believe we all worked hard together by putting on great fights in order to get us this far. However, I will feel accomplished - I fought hard and made it to the UFC."
"I do this for fun. It's these other girls who have something to lose. It's really just something that is really enjoyable to me. This is my 12th fight including my amateur career. I have experience but my real experience comes from the other matches I've had in different aspects of my life.
"To look at a record and to see how many I've fought compared to how many times my opponent has fought, I really don't see how that develops a standard of who a fighter is.
"If you consider the amount of matches or combative situations I've been in throughout my lifetime; this is just another form of that. I have a lot of experience and I have a lot of confidence in myself."
"All I have is push. All I have is moving forward. That is something I often have to apologize to my coaches afterwards because we work weeks and weeks and weeks on game plan and strategy that actually never pan out.
"I'm always apologizing for not listening, but the door closed, they said go and I blacked out. My animal instincts kicked in and figuring out how to win the fight is what happened. Whether they told me to try standing or to go to the ground; it all comes down to how my body decided to react.
"One thing I can always count on is that my heart is always saying, 'Go, go, go.' My heart tells me to get there first and to take the fight wherever I want to. I don't like to wait to see what other people do. I like to get after it, dictate the action and have complete dominance. I think those things are definitely not in Miesha's favor.
"It's not even a mental choice of mine. It's something that naturally happens. It's just in my blood. We'll see how it goes, but if I show up myself that night, she's going to have a lot to deal with."
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