In more than 12 years as a professional, Cris Cyborg faced few moments of adversity, she has reeled off a 18-fight unbeaten streak, winning 16 of those fights by knockout, with nine finishes in the opening round. Cris Cyborg, widely recognised as the greatest [and the baddest] female mixed martial artist of all time, finally captured a UFC title when she beat Tonya Evinger via TKO back in July.
The UFC closes out 2017 with UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 30 [early hours of 31st December in the Middle East]. In the main event of the Pay-per-view card, UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg faces former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
UFC president Dana White recently said on FOX Sport’s Undisputed show that if Holly Holm manages to beat Cric Cyborg, she will be considered the greatest female combat sports fighter of all time, that may well be the case as Holly Holm is a 13 time boxing world champion, multiple time kickboxing champion and beat Ronda Rousey (who was then considered “unbeatable”) to become the UFC world champion.
“I have no comment on what Dana said, but it would be something to hear Dana White call me the greatest female combat sports fighter of all time though” said Cris Cyborg in an exclusive interview with The Sports Journal.
Triple H who is the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE has said a few times publicly that they are in talks with Ronda Rousey to sign her to the WWE. Cyborg pursued that fight against Ronda relentlessly in the octagon and she is open to fight her in the WWE.
“I think everyone fights for their own reasons. For Ronda she didn’t want to make this fight. I will never know her reasons. If she is retired from MMA then it would still be fun to give the fans this match even if it had to happen in the WWE.
“I never chose my fights, but all the MMA fans will always want to see me fight Ronda.”
“I am interested to go to the WWE after my career in MMA is over. I would love to be a tag team partner with Gabi Garcia”
Earlier this month, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss of WWE, made history with the first ever women’s wrestling match in Abu Dhabi. There has never been a female MMA world title fight in the Middle East before, Cyborg who has been to Abu Dhabi as an ambassador for the Brave event back in March this year, would love to empower women and help pioneer the sport in the Middle East.
“I love empowering women to go after their goals and dreams. I enjoyed my time in the UAE very much and would love the chance to come back to the country and help pioneer combat sports. I would be honored to be the first women fight in the Middle East, but there are many talented Muslim women who deserve that groundbreaking recognition. Inshallah the day will come.”
The sport of MMA is very popular in the Middle East, but when it comes to local promoters in the region, it has been a tough journey as the major sources of revenues [TV rights and gate] has been non-existent.
“Dubai and the Middle East has a unique culture when it comes to live events. The culture of paying for a ticket is much different than in other countries. For the sport to grow promoters must be sensitive to culture and maybe start looking at television or other streams of revenue to make their promotion and the content they produce to make it profitable.”
When not preparing for competition Cyborg walks around 175 pounds. Getting down to the required weight is nothing short of an excruciating task. The rigors of Cyborg’s weight cut forced her to hire a full-time nutritionist in George Lockhart previously and now she has brought back Rob Emerson [her old nutritionist] for this fight, she even took birth control pills in past fights to help with fluid retention that helped her with the weight cut.
“My weight cut is going really well, I have incorporated a new iPhone app called Better Human, which has really helped me track my micro and macro nutrients better. I have also brought back my nutrition coach Rob Emerson for this fight. I am ahead of schedule. I feel fast and strong and the weight cut should be smooth. I will start it tonight to be ready for tomorrows weigh-ins.”
Holly Holm is one of the best counter punchers in women’s MMA, what strategy would Cyborg go in with, would she enter the octagon and run through Holm with her ruthless combination of power and aggression or will she fight in a much more calculated manner?
“If Holly wants to win the belt she has to take it from the champion. If she wants to run for 25 minutes I have a lot of tools, which can finish the fight. I can wrestle, bjj, Muay Thai, and box. I will be patient and find a way to win.”
If Cyborg is victorious against the ‘Preachers Daughter’ who is heading up a weight division, Cyborg says he ‘owes’ Megan Anderson a fight at 145 and isn’t interested to fight Amanda Nunes next, because you have to earn a title in a new weight class.
“Amanda Nunes was the one who left 145lbs. I am the champion of that division. I am glad to see another Brazilian female as world champ at 135 and respect her for that. If she wants to return to Featherweight I think it would help establish the division.
“I think once she has fought at 145 she can return to that divisions ranking. I owe Megan Anderson a fight at 145 and in order to build a real sport we need to respect the world rankings, I can’t just keep fighting girls coming up from 135 as the number 1 contender just because they are popular, that takes the sport out of competition.”
Holly Holm rebounded from a three-fight losing streak with a stunning head kick in June against Bethe Correia, and with a lack of contenders at 145 pounds, she gets a chance to upset the odds once more and become the UFC’s first female two-weight champion and according to Dana White, become the “greatest all time female combat sports fighter”.
It promises to be a display of technique and counter striking of Holly Holm and the power and physicality of Cris Cyborg, styles make fights and this fight would be a hell of a stylish fight.
Tale of The Tape
Cyborg is unbeaten in 18 fights.
Cyborg has won 16 fights by knockout.
None of Cyborg’s fights have gone the distance.
Cyborg lands 7.83 strikes per minute.
Cyborg absorbs 1.82 strikes per minute.
Cyborg’s striking accuracy is 51 percent.
Cyborg’s striking defense is 63 percent.
Cyborg’s average fight time is 6:54.
Holm has won eight fights by knockout.
Holm lands 3.00 strikes per minute.
Holm’s striking accuracy is 35 percent.
Holm absorbs 2.53 strikes per minute.
Holm’s striking defense is 61 percent.
Holm’s average fight time is 17:14.
Stats are via FightMetric.