Cat Zingano was the first mom to win in the UFC. (Getty)
Zingano told Cagewriter in February that she doesn't have to look far to find motivation in a fight because of her son.
"When someone has their arms around my neck, I think I have to be here for my child. Nothing's going to stop me."
But really, is there any surprise to see a mother win a fight? Whether it's getting her children to clean her room, getting a bully to back off, or just keeping her children alive, all moms are fighters.
My mom is a fighter. When she was a high schooler, that fighting spirit got her into trouble. It was before Title IX and well before women were allowed to wrestle or box or beat the snot out of their opponents in a cage. So she fought in the hallways of her high school, which led to many visits to many different principals' offices. Though she gave up her pugilistic ways as she grew up and had kids, the fighting spirit never went away. She fought for cleaner air, better schools, better programs for kids in our town, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to fight for the cancer survivors who had it much worse than she did.
My mother-in-law, too, was a fighter. After her second diagnosis of cancer, she fought to have the life she wanted in her final years. She knew cancer would end her life much too early, so she fought to spend time surrounded by family, friends and the gardens she so happily cultivated. Even when cancer stole every bit of her energy, she fought to spend her few minutes with her children, friends and family.
Every mom of a UFC fighter I've come across has been a fighter. Inevitably, her first fight was to keep her son or daughter out of the cage. After giving up that fight, she focused her fight to make sure her fighter was ready for the cage. Ronda Rousey's mom did this by waking her daughter up with armbars. Chael Sonnen's mom does it by being at her son's side when training. Rashad Evans' mom does it with motivational speeches that would make Eric Taylor proud.
If you can, spend some time with that fighter you call mom this Mother's Day. Listen to her stories about her fight. The next time you see a mom in the cage, it won't surprise you to see her with her hand raised.
- Sports & Recreation