Current Bellator women’s flyweight Champion, former UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta Featherweight Champion, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino is not just the first female, but the first fighter male or female in history to be Grand Slam Champion, holding a World Championship in four major mixed martial arts promotions. This is the Legacy that has been created by Cris.
Her first major title came in 2009 where she defeated the then superstar of female MMA Gina Corano via TKO in the 1st Round. Cris went on to win Championship number 2 in 2013 by defeating Moraes Coenen via TKO in round 4 to win the Invicta Championship. In 2017 a 3rd round win via Knees over Tonya Evinger saw Cris capture UFC gold and to complete the Grand Slam. Cris then defeated Julia Budd via TKO in the 4th round in her Bellator debut securing her legacy as the first fighter in history to achieve this.
This achievement will always put Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino in the conversation as the Greatest of all time to step in the cage.
This week I had the honour and the pleasure, to sit down and ask Cris some questions about her career.
You’ve fought across a lot of great promotions and been champion in three major promotions making history. What’s been the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your career inside the cage and why?
Cris – I think yourself. You are your own biggest opponent. Your mind is the biggest obstacle that holds people back from achieving amazing things and accomplishing their goals. I have won four world championships and to accomplish that it was almost 15 years as a professional fighter. Every fight has its own stress, it’s own distractions, I think the biggest challenge I have faced is making sure I am always ready the night it really counts no matter what else is going on around my life.
Which promotion have you most enjoyed the experience of representing?
Cris – Each promotion is special to me and represents a special moment in my life.
Recently it was said you was hoping for a women’s grand prix tournament is that something we’re likely to see in the future and what is your reason for requesting it? And who would you like to be in that tournament with?
Cris – I think it would be amazing to have a 1-night tournament like the old school chute boxe days. I don’t care who would be in the tournament, hopefully, the baddest women on the planet.
Is there any person out there that you wish you had the opportunity to fight?
Cris – My career isn’t over yet, I still have the opportunity to fight anyone. I want to make the biggest fights for my fans, the fights that most people want to see. I’m ready and willing to fight anyone.
As we said before you have already accomplished so much in your career what is left for you to achieve?
Cris – I focus on improving rather than proving. That is a quote I learned from Cobrinha my BJJ instructor. I think I can always improve, become a better martial artist and fighter.
You spend a period of time in 2014 training with PhuketTopTeam why did you chose them and what did you take from the experience?
Cris – I started my training camp for Holly Holm at Phuket Top Team as they had some great Southpaw Muay Thai fighters and coaches who I could train with in preparation to that fight. We did a lot of technique, and I really learned a lot about Muay Thai. I love Phuket, the food and the beaches. Boyd Clarke is like Family and whenever I’m in Asia I try to visit Phuket Top Team.
What’s next for you what can we expect to see from you in the next year or two?
Cris – I want to win my first World Title in Boxing. I want to defend my Bellator MMA Championship as many times as possible. Who knows, maybe we can get a cross promotional fight between Bellator and the UFC one day.
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