Cris Cyborg made an explosive debut at UFC 198. It was her home town and Cyborg made it clear that she will not be punched on her turf. She is popular for her strength and explosive punches. She has a record of 16-1, 1NC. Out of her 16 matches 14 came by the way of knockout.
Cyborg was the one who dethroned MMA’s first female celebrity Gina Carano in the first-ever MMA event headlined with a female fight. This was a great achievement for every female MMA fighter. Cyborg continued to gain more popularity until the infamous event of doping allegations rose and she was sidelined. After a year this monster returned to action to become the inaugural Invicta FC featherweight champion. Cyborg has established herself as the strongest female MMA fighter on the planet. Her skills in the octagon cannot be questioned and she’s roared at every woman fighter in the UFC to get in the octagon against her.
After defeating Leslie Smith at UFC 198 Cyborg made it pretty clear that she either wanted a super fight with Ronda Rousey or she was going back to Invicta FC. This broke many hearts as UFC had been signaling that Cris would lock horns with Geramaine de Randamie.
Let’s take a look at the possibilities in front of Cris Cyborg.
1. Invicta FC 18: Cyborg vs Anderson
At Invicta FC 17 Megan Anderson scored her second straight win at Invicta by knocking out Amanda Bell in the very first round. She has been unstoppable in 2016, by already managing two victories in her bag. She also defeated Amber Leibrock back in January via third round TKO. The 26-year is the only featherweight in the promotion who can say that she has the momentum to face Cyborg. Apart from that she has maintained a decent record of 6-2. Out of her 6 victories 4 have been stoppages.
Cyborg has not defended her title many times. In her reign of three years she has had only three title defenses, quite low with only one title defense a year. She did not defend her title in 2013 and 2014. Although Invicta’s featherweight division has yet to really challenge Cyborg since she won the title, not giving athletes a chance is disrespectful, and as a fighter Cyborg respects the sport hence people can understand her eagerness to defend the belt. Under these circumstances Megan Anderson is the best opponent for Cris.
2. Holly Holm vs Cris Cyborg
This fight could be one of the most interesting fights in women’s MMA history. Both fighters are exceptionally talented and can destroy each other. In fact, Holly is the only fighter who can face Cris. Here are the reasons.
Holly recently lost a fight and to get a title shot she needs to face someone who has a very high ranking. But most of the high ranked fighters have been set against each other. Hence leaving Holly no other option but to clash against ranked 9th Valentina Shevchenko in a fight which will do no good if she wins. Hence if she faces Cyborg she can have huge momentum around her, and if she actually manages to win then she becomes a favorite over Ronda Rousey.
Cyborg may have defeated Leslie Smith but that does not prove that she is the best female fighter in UFC. She has definitely created an impact by finishing Leslie in 80 seconds but she needs to face the rulers of the division to establish herself as the most dangerous one in the octagon.
Both women have their gains when they lock horns in the octagon, if Cyborg wins then she can claim that she is indeed the best in the women’s MMA, and if Holly wins she gets her title shot.
The picture is clear it is win-win for both the fighters, but they lay a dangerous wager as they clash. As much as can the winner can gain, the loser will face severe consequences, hence both women will give their best and show it to everyone what female power is all about.
3. Ronda Rousey super fight
This almost looks like a far-fetched dream. This match is one of the most awaited clashes of all time between two of the most dominating fighters on Earth. Even though Rousey has lost her air of invincibility the beef between the two fighters is not over yet.
Ronda Rousey has time and again taken huge digs at Cyborg, criticizing her for taking steroids. Apart from that she would repeatedly say that she was a bantamweight champ hence she could not face cyborg in a catchweight fight. But now that she has lost the belt she can face Cyborg and Cyborg can have her revenge.
Also, it would be a great comeback match for Ronda. She can defeat Cyborg and can shut up all her haters, whereas Cris can beat Ronda and prove it to everyone that she is the best fighter.
4. Cyborg changes her mind
Cyborg cannot make weight for the bantamweight division in the UFC, but she could still face opponents who are courageous enough to get in the octagon with her. She could lock horns with Germaine de Randamie as the UFC suggested and continue her warpath. She could continue her streak and eventually become a legend whom everyone will fear, eventually forcing the top ranked bantamweight fighters to face her. She can go on to be like one of the feared beasts in fairy tales whom no one messes around with and facing that beast itself is a big deal. If she goes on this path, then eventually it will either lead to UFC creating a featherweight division or she will overshadow the entire women’s division.
5. UFC creates a women’s featherweight division
Dana White has been reluctant of creating a women’s featherweight division in the UFC. He said that the division did not have depth of talent. A statement which was very true. The division is very new and does not have many fighters hence creating a division at a platform such as UFC just because of one fighter does not make sense.
But the division is growing and has gone on to see some really good fighters such as Marloes Coenen, Julia Budd and Charmaine Tweet. Apart from that some of the fighters have produced great matches. The power these women have is beyond doubt the greatest if compared to other divisions. These matches can come to an end at any point and one hit can finish the entire match.
Now that UFC has decided to create a flyweight division, there is a strong possibility that they are discussing the creation of a featherweight division.
But all we can do is just hope for the best.
We all want to see Cyborg at her best.
But we must remember all women must fight.