Bellator 293 results: Cat Zingano wins grueling decision over Leah McCourt in entertaining scrap

TEMECULA, Calif. – Cat Zingano and Leah McCourt put on one of the most entertaining, back-and-forth female fights of 2023 on Friday night at Bellator 293, but one thing made the clear difference.


That belonged to Zingano, who came away with a unanimous decision by scores of 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, much to the delight of the heavily supportive crowd at Pechanga Resort Casino.

The fight was full of transitional sequences on the mat. Zingano (14-4 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) and McCourt (7-3 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) each controlled and hurt the other at various points. But Zingano was more punishing, which underscored by a huge knee to McCourt’s face in the third round that caused a bloody gash on her forehead.

“I’m hard to keep on my back. I’ve heard that before,” Zingano said afterward. “She’s really tall and really strong and a lot of body. I’m not used to that, still, at this weight class. Yeah, I knew it was going to be a tussle with her, and it was going to be a lot of work. What I do know is I know how to cause damage and a lot of it. I think the damage made up for some of the transitional periods, and here we are.”

Zingano, a former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger, now finds herself in the driver’s seat of a Bellator featherweight title shot against, presumably, Cris Cyborg, who remains champion but hasn’t re-signed with the promotion since she fought out her contract in April 2022.

“I mean, right now, it sounds like it’s a vacant belt half the time,” Zingano said.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 293 results:

  • Cat Zingano def. Leah McCourt via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

  • John Salter def. Aaron Jeffery via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Luke Trainer def. Sullivan Cauley via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:58

  • Rakim Cleveland def. Christian Edwards via submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 3, 3:55

  • Mike Hamel def. Nick Browne via TKO (head kick, punches) – Round 1, 0:42

  • Adam Piccolotti def. Mandel Nallo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:26

  • Sara Collins def. Pam Sorenson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:43

  • Jeff Creighton def. Joey Davis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Lucas Brennan def. Josh San Diego via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:14

  • Vladimir Tokov def. Lance Gibson Jr. via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:02

  • Randi Field def. Ashley Cummins via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Bryce Meredith def. Brandon Carrillo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:11

  • Mackenzie Stiller def. Benson Henderson via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:17

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 293.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie