Say Hello to "Cyborg"
15-1, 1 NC and 5/14/16. What do those numbers mean? Cris “Cyborg” Justino is officially stepping into the bright lights of the UFC. Unbeaten for more than a decade with 13 of those wins by KO/TKO, the machine will make her debut in her birth city of Curitiba, Brazil. She will combat Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith.
Justino only fought one bout for Strikeforce under the UFC’s parent company Zuffa’s ownership in 2011, but has been associated with the company for some time and whose contract falls under their ownership. After much back-and-forth, her debut will be at a 140-pound catchweight.
"Cyborg” has a well-documented history of difficulty dropping to 135 from 145 pounds–the primary reason that a battle with Ronda Rousey has remained only the subject of discussion.
As Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight champion, she defended the belt just twice (her third being overturned by the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for the synthetic anabolic steroid, stanozolol. She has passed all drug tests after that point, but it could be argued that the failure has overshadowed her career from that point.
Since that time Justino has gone 5-0 in the all-female Invicta FC all by TKO (four in the first round and two in under a minute.)
UFC President Dana White and Justino have had a war of words for years–at one point White called “Cyborg” “Wanderlei Silva in a dress”. In a podcast after UFC 193 in November, commentator Joe Rogan joked about the steroid issue and Justino having a penis.
Justino responded on Twitter with:
"@joerogan @TonyHinchcliffe @danawhite your jokes are mean and hurtful not comedy. Who would want 2 work for a team that’s so disrespectful."
Apparently all have put the issue to rest in the name of the fans.
Justino is hoping that a win over Smith (8-6-1) will leave many considering her a UFC title contender despite that inability to make Bantamweight.
“I know that the UFC does not have my division,” Justino wrote previously, “which is why I am asking my fans to help make this fight.”
“This doesn’t depend on me. Of course, I have to keep defending my belt at 145 [in Invicta FC], I don’t know what the UFC has for me. I have to step in the cage now, make 140, and make a great fight for them,” Justino said.