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Cris Cyborg: The only Grand Slam Champion in MMA

Cris Cyborg
Cris Cyborg: The only Grand Slam Champion in MMA. Photo/ MMA Junkie - USA Today.
  • Cris Cyborg is the first and only Grand Slam Champion in the history of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
  • Cyborg has been a featherweight champion in Strikeforce, Invicta Fighting Championship, UFC and Bellator MMA. 
  • At 37, she is still going strong and wishes to win a belt in boxing. 

Cristiane Justino Cyborg remains to be the only Grand Slam Champion in the history of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Cris has been a featherweight champion in four of the largest MMA organizations. The 37-year-old is a former Strikeforce, UFC and Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion.

As of now, she competes in Bellator MMA, where she is the current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion.

Cyborg fights like a machine and is known for dominating her opponents in the octagon ring. She is widely regarded as the GOAT of women’s MMA.

Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg. Photo/ MMA Junkie – USA Today.

The American-Brazilian fighter actually deserves the title, GOAT, due to the fact that no one is actually close to becoming a grand slam champion.  

At 37, Cris Cyborg has a few years in her career. However, she looks determined to continue recording victories in the octagon ring. 

Cyborg wishes to win a belt in boxing before she finally retires. She was to make her professional boxing debut against Simone Silva on September 25, 2022. 

Simone Silva had suffered a knockout loss due to a body punch in her previous fight, which was one month before. As a result, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation suspended her. 

This led to the Brazilian boxing officials refusing to sanction the bout between Silva and Cyborg as a professional bout. Cyborg won the fight. 

Early Life 

Cris Cyborg was born on July 9, 1985, as Cristiane Justino Venancio in Curitiba, Brazil, to divorced parents. Her father had problems with alcoholism. 

Justino began her career in sports by playing handball at a national level in Brazil at the age of 12. After high school, Justino’s amazing performance as a handball player earned her scholarships at private universities. 

Justino was planning to move to the city of Cascavel to become a professional handball player when Rudimar Fedrigo discovered her. Fedrigo was a Chute Boxe Academy trainer who got impressed by Justino’s size. 

Career 

Justino made her professional mixed martial arts debut in May 2005 before incorporating the name Cyborg. She fought against Erica Paes at Showfight 2. 

The future Grand Slam Champion lost the fight in the first round. And that remained her only loss until 2018. 

Cyborg went on to win her next three fights, making her record 4-1. The Brazilian international defeated Shayna Baszler by TKO in the second round of her United States MMA debut. 

Strikeforce 

Cris Cyborg made her Strikeforce debut against Hitomi Akano on April 11, 2009. She won the fight in the third round. 

The long-anticipated fight between Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano took place on August 15, 2009. Cyborg won the fight to claim the Women’s Featherweight Championship. She successfully defended her title against Marloes Coenen on January 30, 2010. 

Cyborg tested positive for doping in January 2012, and as a result, her licence was suspended for one year. She also received a $2,500 fine. 

Invicta Fighting Championship 

Cris Cyborg joined Invicta Fighting Championship on February 15, 2013, after Strikeforce unfolded. She made her Invicta debut Fiona Muxlow at Invicta FC 5 two months later. 

On July 13, Cris Cyborg faced Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6 for the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship. She won the fight in the fourth round and became the Invicta FC featherweight champion. 

Ultimate Fighting Championship 

Cris Cyborg joined UFC in March 2015 and made her debut at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith. She won the fight. 

Cyborg faced Tonya Evinger on June 27 for the vacated UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship. The talented fighter won the fight in the third round to claim the title. 

She successfully defended her title against Holly Holm on December 30 in a fight that earned her Fight of the Night bonus.  

Cyborg suffered her first knockout loss while fighting Amanda Nunes on December 29, 2018. Her last fight at UFC was against Felicia Spencer on July 27, 2019. 

Bellator MMA 

Cris Cyborg joined Bellator MMA in September 2019. Her first fight was against Julia Budd for the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Championship on January 25, 2020.

Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg. Photo/ MMA junkie – USA Today.

She won the fight and became MMA’s first Grand Slam Champion. 

Cyborg has successfully defended the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Championship against Arlene Blencowe in October 2020, Leslie Smith in May 2021, Sinead Kavanagh in November 2021 and Arlene Blencowe on April 2022. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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