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Cris Cyborg Makes UFC Debut But Future Remains Unclear

Cris “Cyborg” Justino knocked out Leslie Smith in 81 seconds at UFC 198.  The fight at UFC 198 was in front of her home crowd in Brazil.  Cyborg is the Invicta Champion at 145 pounds but fought at a catch-weight against Smith at 140 pounds.

After the fight Cyborg said:

I’m the Invicta champion and I want to defend my belt.  I also want to fight at a catchweight in the UFC. But I’m the champion.

Tonight I feel great. Yesterday, I made 140. I feel good. I think maybe I can make catchweights or defend my belt at 145.

After Cyborg’s win Miesha Tate, current bantamweight champion, congratulated Cyborg on weighing in at 139 pounds and said that if Cyborg dropped four more pounds Tate would fight her for the title.  Cyborg responded saying that she already has a world title.

The UFC currently does not have a featherweight division that Cyborg could compete in.

Ringside Analysis:

It seems very unlikely that Cris Cyborg will drop to the 135-pound limit to get into the loaded woman’s bantamweight division in the UFC with Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, and Ronda Rousey.  Tate challenged Cyborg at 135 but Cyborg immediately dismissed it on Twitter.  Based on Cyborg’s post fight comments and history on the topic of making 135 pounds it appears that Cyborg doesn’t feel that she could physically get that low in weight.

In order for Cyborg to take on a fighter like Tate, Holm, or Rousey, the fight would need to be at a catch-weight.  Given that Cyborg has been debateably the best fighter in women’s MMA for years the topic of weight could be used by any top fighters in the bantamweight division from fighting her.  However, if one fighter out of Holm, Tate, and Rousey take on Cyborg at 140 pounds then the others will most likely have to end up fighting Cyborg at the catch-weight.

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