The Scariest Female Fighter in the World Today May Not Be Fighting in the UFC Much Longer…
Cristiane Justino, AKA Cris Cyborg, looks set to leave the UFC after completing her next two fights. The Brazilian featherweight champion is arguably the greatest female fighter of all time. The only time she’s ever lost was way back in 2005, and it was her professional debut.
She’s also the second female fighter, after Ronda Rousey, to have a division basically created for her. Cyborg joined the UFC in 2015 and has won five times since then. The only time she was brought past the second round was against Holly Holm. However, that was more down to Holm’s toughness, than her competitivity.
Now it looks like Cyborg is just going to walk away with it comes to end of her tenure with the organization. She’s frustrated by the lack of genuine featherweight competition that she’s faced so far in the UFC. Her most exciting potential opponent is the bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Now Justino has dropped a not-so-subtle hint that she’s leaving.
Cyborg is one of the most physically imposing women you’ll ever see. That’s not a slur, it’s a fact. The truth is that most women can’t stand with her. She rocks them with her ridiculous power. Look at Yana Kunitskaya, her most recent opponent, who folded at 3.25 minutes of the first round of their UFC 222 headliner. The Russian just couldn’t deal.
There’s nobody in the UFC who looks likely to be even competitive against her, with the possible exception of Amanda Nunes, who possesses enough power in her own right to possibly rattle her. ‘The Lioness’ is physically smaller than Cyborg though, so she’d be a rightful underdog.
The only other reasonable contender is Megan Anderson, the current Invicta featherweight champion. On paper, she’s a real challenge in terms of size, experience, and pedigree. However, she seems to be dodging the step up to the UFC for some reason. Wouldn’t you?
Cyborg Wants Out
Cyborg dropped her biggest hint that she wants to move on to more lucrative and challenging pastures last weekend when she appeared at an HBO boxing event. She posted a t-shirt with the slogan: ‘Cyborg vs Braekhus 2019’. This could be massive.
If you don’t know who Cecilia Braekhus is, here’s a quick rundown: she’s the No.1 pound for pound women’s champion. The Colombian-born-Norwegian is also the undisputed female welterweight champion since 2014. At the weekend she became the first woman to fight in boxing match televised by HBO.
In terms of women’s professional boxing, there is nobody bigger. Now that she’s made her television debut, expect Braekhus’s star to grow. She’s currently riding a record of 33-0. This is the fight of Cyborg’s dreams. A lot more money and a worthy opponent to boot.
Cyborg is genuine about wanting to move to boxing. Now that the UFC is doing very little to stimulate her, she’s just found a clearer route. The mad thing is that she usually does fairly decent in terms of selling pay-per-views, which is unexpected when you think about how uncompetitive her fights are.
At the end of the day money talks and boxing still holds the cards in that game. She’s made it clear in the past that she will move on eventually. The UFC clearly don’t have any interest in building up the featherweight division right now. Or the flyweight division for that matter. It’s a weird strategy. Let’s see how it plays out.