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UFC Boise's Marion Reneau has no problem 'jumping through the hoops' for title shot

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BOISE, Idaho – Marion Reneau is willing to take the long road en route to a UFC women’s bantamweight title shot. If she can beat Cat Zingano, however, she’ll be closer than ever.

Reneau (9-3-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) meets Zingano (9-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in a crucial matchup for the weight class Saturday at UFC Fight Night 133. “The Belizean Bruiser” is currently riding a four-fight unbeaten streak inside the octagon, and all she sees is the upside of her next opportunity.

Zingano is on a three-fight losing streak and is winless since 2014, but she’s still a valuable name. So when the streaking Reneau was presented with the matchup, she said she pounced on the offer.

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“It’s important not to think that way because I can’t put myself above somebody else,” Reneau told MMAjunkie at UFC Fight Night 133 media day. “Who am I to do that? I’m not above her. I’m not above anybody. That was never my thought process. … We had already went down the list of potential (opponents), and there wasn’t very many in the top 10. That was one of the things I’d asked for, only because everyone in the bantamweight division has one goal in mind, and that’s to fight for the belt. We knew she was the only one who would be available. She’s ranked one above me (in the UFC rankings), and she’s a good name.”

UFC Fight Night 133 takes place at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. Reneau vs. Zingano opens the FS1-televised main card following prelims on the same channel and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Other fighters in Reneau’s position might not have the same level-headed approach. Considering she’s 41 and the oldest female fighter on the UFC roster, it would be perfectly understandable if Reneau attempted to speed up her timeline and make things happen quickly.

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Reneau said that’s not her mindset, though. Not only is she not thinking about retirement, but Reneau said she’s only experienced minimal physical deterioration after a more than eight-year career.

“I don’t feel 41,” Reneau said. “There are some days when I roll out of bed where I’m like, ‘OK, today I’m 41.’ But other days I feel young. I feel in my early 30s, mid-30s. I don’t feel my age. When people ask me I have to remember, ‘Oh my God, I am 41.’ It’s hard to believe.

“I don’t put a timeline on myself (for retirement). As long as I feel good, as long as I’m able to execute the way I need to and perform the way I need to, I’m going to stay in the game.”

If Reneau can emerge victorious at UFC Fight Night 133, she would almost certainly be on the short list of potential challengers for UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (16-4 MMA, 9-1 UFC). Reneau hopes that’s the case but said she’s prepared to push on if the UFC decides that isn’t what it wants her to do.

“Right now it’s just jumping through the hoops that they want me to do,” Reneau said. “Whose to say what they’re going to do after this?”

For more on UFC Fight Night 133, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Photos: Best of Marion Reneau

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