Despite a rather bizzare and unfortunate turn of events, Megan Anderson defeated Cat Zingano at UFC 232.
Anderson was the Invicta FC featherweight championship before relinqushing that tile to join the UFC. There was a ton of hype surrounding Anderson, and for good reason.
Standing at an even six feet, Anderson is a natural 145-pound fighter; perhaps one of only three on the entire UFC roster.
Holly Holm would welcome Anderson to the Octagon at UFC 225. It was a learning experience for the Australian, who now makes her home in the States.
Heading into UFC 232, Anderson vs Zingano looked to be a must-see affair. It turned out to be just that, but for reasons other than fighting unfortunelyy.
Just 61 seconds into their fight and Zingano accidently caught Anderson’s big toe right in the eye. The injury looked as painful as it sounds.
Anderson received a bunch of unwarranted scrutiny from fans on social media.
“There was a significant amount of hate,” Anderson told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour on Monday. “I got a lot of, ‘You’re a piece of sh*t,’ all this kind of stuff. I got, ‘You need to cut your toenails or your nasty ass nails’ and sh*t like this. Anyone who’s in the business knows that they check you two times before you even go out and then they check you at the cage so I feel like if something was wrong they would have told me the three freakin’ times that they checked me and they were just like, ‘You’re all good, you’re fine.’
“I got, ‘That’s not a win, you shouldn’t be proud of that.’ Well, that’s not my decision. I threw a legal blow that happened to land in a weird spot and I got the win from that. A win is a win. And if Cat wants to run it back I’m happy to give it to her, it’s not a problem, but at the end of the day I have that win on my record and I put in a lot of hard work and a lot of time into that and — no matter what people on the internet say — I’m going to be proud of that performance.
“If you watched any of my fights, that combination that I threw is very common and I have landed that a lot of times and I have finished fights with that combination. So if Cat didn’t have her hands up, then she didn’t really do her homework very well because that’s a very common combination for me to throw.”
Anyone that is accusing Anderson of “fighting dirty” perhaps has never seen her previous fights. The combo that was used to end the Zingano fight is a closing sequence that Anderson has used several times in past wins, all controversy free.
“I’ve had that move executed three times now just finishing fights, so I obviously wasn’t aiming for her eyeball,” Anderson said. “I was getting a lot of shit for that, ‘You’re a dirty cheater’ and stuff like that.
“I’m pretty sure anyone who is in the sport knows that when you kick someone, you aim for someone’s face, the last thing you’re thinking about is trying to poke them in the friggin’ eyeball. The rules
Veteran referee Marc Goddard was the third man in the Octagon that night, and according to Anderson, he did the right thing. Still, Anderson was hoping to show off some newfound skills if the fight had gone longer.
“I’d never seen anything like that. It definitely was strange,” Anderson said. “Marc Goddard is one of the best in the business and when it all happened I looked to him to see what he was going to do because the way that Cat kind of looked away, I knew something wasn’t right, I knew she was hurt, I didn’t know what had happened.
“I kind of turned to him and he was telling her, ‘The fight’s still going, you’ve got to fight back. Got to fight back.’ And I was like, okay, I’m gonna do my job. I can’t exactly just stop if he’s telling me to keep going so it’s unfortunate circumstances. I really feel like I wanted to showcase a lot more of what I’m capable of. But a win is a win. And we’re happy to finally get that win in the UFC and I’m glad that Cat’s gonna be okay.”