Official: Cris “Cyborg” signs with Bellator MMA
It’s now official: Former Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC champion Cris “Cyborg” Justinho is now a Bellator fighter. Cyborg parted ways with the UFC after many years of a contentious professional relationship. Bellator president Scott Coker openly showed interest in signing Cyborg to Bellator, sparking speculation. The promotion just sent out a press release, informing of the signing.
According to the information released, Cyborg has signed an exclusive multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator that the promotion are calling the largest deal in women’s MMA history.
- Joe Rogan on the Cris Cyborg situation: “They f*cked up!”
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- UFC release Cris Cyborg from contract: “We’re out of the Cyborg business.”
- Video: See Cris Cyborg confront “liar” Dana White backstage
“I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” Coker said in the press release. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again. ‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival.”
Cyborg reigned as featherweight champion in the UFC from 2017, defeating Tonya Evinger and Holly Holm amongst others. However upon her title defence against bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 232, Cyborg was shockingly knocked out. The upset meant the end to both Cyborg’s title reign in the UFC and her 20 fight unbeaten streak.
She was most recently active at UFC 240, where she defeated Felicia Spencer via unanimous decision. Her interactions with UFC president Dana White and the publication of edited video shot on site, affected her release.
Above mentioned Budd is the reigning featherweight champion in Bellator. It’s not not certain if Cyborg will get an immediate title shot, but her contract with Bellator is a landmark deal for the organisation regardless.