Cat Zingano, current No. 1 Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight contender, has been through hell.
Aside from suffering a devastating knee injury in May of 2013 -- one which forced her out of her Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 coaching duties and title fight against Ronda Rousey -- Zingano's husband, Maurico Zingano, was found dead of an apparent suicide last month.
That's enough to drive even the sanest of people crazy.
But, according to her manager, Ed Soares, "Alpha" is doing her best to deal with all of her recent issues and rehab from her knee surgery to resume her career inside the Octagon.
And it could be as early as June of this year, according to Soares (via USA Today):
"She texted me last night right after the (Rousey vs. McMann) fight. Cat watched the fight, and she's focused, she's motivated, her recovery is going well, and physically, she's getting back. She's had a rocky road since her surgery, especially with all the personal stuff that's happened to her. But Cat is one of those people who can take the negative energy and use it as a motivator to go get that belt."
Zingano was last seen inside the eight-walled cage dismantling Miesha Tate at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale last April. Despite the loss, Tate was pegged as Zingano's replacement on TUF 18 and eventually went on to lose to Rousey at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013.
After defeating "Cupcake" for the second time, Rousey went on to blitz right through Sara McMann via first-round technical knockout (video) last weekend (Feb. 22, 2014) at UFC 170.
And as "Rowdy" looks to take a breather from fighting to film "Entourage" next month, the break -- coupled with Zingano's own timeline -- could be just what's needed to finally make the much-anticipated fight between the two best 135-pound fighters in the world.