Cris Cyborg ready to add UFC title to her collection
Since losing her first MMA fight in March 2005, Cris Cyborg has destroyed every opponent to step in front of her.
Cyborg has won 16 fights in a row, all by knockout, to become the women’s featherweight champion of the Strikeforce and Invicta fighting promotions.
Former UFC women’s featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie, was recently stripped of her belt by the UFC for not wanting to fight Cyborg because of her past steroid use.
Cyborg will have an opportunity to add a UFC belt to her historic collection when she takes on Invicta bantamweight champion, Tonya Evinger, at UFC 213 tonight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The vacant UFC women’s featherweight championship will be on the line.
Although she’s considered the most feared women’s MMA striker of all-time, Cyborg sparred with two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist, Claressa Shields, to improve her boxing game for the fight. Despite video footage leaking out showing Shields getting the best of Cyborg, the MMA legend is glad she added the Olympic champion to her camp to prepare for one of the biggest fights of her career.
“I’m very happy to work with Claressa. She’s very good and a two-time Olympic champion, so doing things with her definitely improved my boxing and maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to do a boxing fight like McGregor is getting,” Cyborg said. “Claressa is very fast and she makes me want to box and learn more from her.”
The admiration was mutual for Shields, who is in camp preparing for her big fight against Nikki Adler in Detroit for the WBC and IBF super middleweight belts on August 4.
“Sparring with Cyborg was fun because she’s very athletic and fun to talk to while sparring,” Shields said. “She’s a really cool girl and taught me the arm bar, but I’m really excited to watch her do work on Aug. 26 and get that belt she’s worked so hard for.”
Besides being extremely talented, Cyborg is one of the most physically gifted specimens in MMA – male or female. The talented Brazilian is so big and muscular she walks around at heavier weights than Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Conor McGregor.
Against Evinger, one of the best wrestlers in women’s MMA, Cyborg will have to be patient and apply the things she learned while sparring with Shields into action. If she able to close the distance and implement her game plan, many experts expect another easy night for Cyborg.
“I’m going to use the same style I’ve always had for MMA, but training with her will help me with my boxing and using different angles in my title fight,” Cyborg said. “We fight to the death in practice, and that mentality will play a big part in my fight to get that UFC belt around my waist.”