Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship women's bantamweight contender Cat Zingano's
husband, Mauricio, died late Monday in Colorado.
Mauricio Zingano, a former mixed martial arts fighter who owned MMA gyms in Colorado,
was 37. Jefferson County officials did not reveal the cause of death.
Cat Zingano posted on her Facebook page Tuesday, "I will always love you Mauricio. CZ."
She later issued a statement to MMA websites:
"Late yesterday evening, I learned that my husband and soul mate of seven years, Mauricio Zingano, has passed away.
"My life has changed irrevocably. I am shocked and deeply saddened. Thankfully, my family and friends are coming together to provide the support I need. I am grateful for them, as I know there are many
difficult days ahead.
"I also very much appreciate the outpour of support from the jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts world. My husband was well known and respected in this close-knit community and I know he would appreciate
everyone's thoughts and prayers, as do I.
At this time, I respectfully ask everyone to give me privacy as I gather with relatives and friends. Again, I give thanks to all for the kind words of support."
A UFC spokesman said the organization "sends its deepest condolences to Cat and
her family during this tragic time."
Cat Zingano was positioned for a title shot at Ronda Rousey before suffering a knee injury. In April, Zingano knocked out Miesha Tate. Tate later starred alongside Rousey in the reality TV series "The
Ultimate Fighter" and lost to Rousey by third-round armbar Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.
As Zingano's recovery continues, Rousey will fight Sara McMann Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.