Being locked in the cage with Cris Cyborg is the things nightmares are made of. She is not only one of the best women fighters of all time, she’s also one of the best fighters of all time. Cyborg has made a career striking fear into the hearts of her opponents. Cris Cyborg just won her fourth belt over Julia Budd at Bellator 238.
As mentioned earlier, Cris has won her fourth championship: Invicta, Strikeforce, UFC and Bellator. She is the only athlete that has accomplished this feat. Seeing that Strikeforce isn’t around anymore, it will never be replicated. She has accomplished so much in her incredibly long career. But, Cris Cyborg doesn’t concentrate on her championships. Instead, she looks to be the best martial artist she can be.
“Each belt that I have won is special because it represents a time in my life. People forget I’ve been world champion almost 15 years now, and you change a lot as a person over the course of 15 years. To me the belt is just a symbol. There will always be another world champion after you, so I try not to put too much emphasis on the possession.”
Cris Cyborg knows life isn’t all about fighting. She has been blessed with this giant platform that almost nobody else in the world has. For Cyborg, it is this opportunity that she’s most excited about. She aims to make a difference in the lives of as many people as she can.
“I always train hard, always put my focus into the fight, but it’s the things outside the ring that make you a world champion. For me I want to be a world champion to my community, to the kids in Uganda with no Water, the families in Brazil without warm clothes in the winter, kids without love, the more lives you can touch the better your life will become.
Cris Cyborg has been involved with the Fight For The Forgotten organization. It is a program created by Justin Wren that goes to Uganda and digs wells for the Pygmy people giving them access to drinking water. Fight For The Forgotten has drilled an astounding 65 wells and impacted a total of 26,600 people. Cris has joined Wren in Uganda and helped dig these wells herself.
Going into her fight with Budd, Cris trained for everything. She and her team put together a complete camp that didn’t ignore one part of the sport. They concentrated on being a well rounded mixed martial artist.
“I was really prepared for this fight,” says Cyborg. “I went to South Africa to train with Richie Quan, Boyd Allen, and Martin Van Staden and they had me ready for every situation. You guys saw me go for triangle, arm bar, scramble to my feet, get my own takedowns, and of course the striking and ground and pound I’m known for. I feel like this camp was a complete camp and I didn’t have sections where I wasn’t training for a mixed martial arts fight, we did everything together in preparation.”
As she mentioned, they did everything in preparation for this fight, knowing how dangerous and tough Julia Budd is. Cris wasn’t in a rush to get out of the fight. She took her time and chose her shots well. When the opportunity presented itself to finish the fight. Cris was laser focused in with one mission on the mind. “I was looking to end the fight,” she said.
Cris Cyborg’s Legacy
Now that she’s won her fourth belt, Cris is yet again a part of history. When asked about it, she thinks people will remember her career because of her longevity. 15 years in the sport as a champion and it’s not stopping any time soon. Her hard work and determination is what keeps her around for so long.
“I think it speaks to my consistency. That is a long time to be the best in your weight class. Most people don’t even have a 15 year career, being able to be world champion for that long is a blessing.”
Cris feels like her legacy making is not yet finished. But feeling like she’s accomplished everything she can in MMA, she turns her eyes towards a different challenge. “I’ve won all the belts in MMA, maybe I need to add another one from boxing to my resume.”
Cyborg has sparred with boxing’s biggest name and two time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified middleweight champion Clarissa Shields.
If Cyborg stays around her current fighting weight, 66 kilograms, she would be in line to fight the welterweight champion, Cecilia Brækhus. Brækhus the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO World Female Welterweight title. In other words, she has all of the belts. While Cyborg my not get a crack at the title immediately, a clash between Cyborg and Brækhus would smash women’s boxing records and make Bellator and Brækhus’ camp loads and loads of money.
Cris didn’t have a good relationship with Dana White in her time at the UFC. She never felt quite at home. Now with Bellator, Cyborg and her team feels appreciated as fighter instead of just an employee. Bellator President, Scott Coker, has gone out of his way to make her feel welcome, as he does with all of his fighters.
“It feels very different than my previous relationship. I talk to Scott on the phone all the time, it feels like a partnership instead of a boss.”
Cyborg on Bellator 241
Bellator 241 is coming up and Patricio Pitbull is set to defend his 145 strap against Pedro Carvalho. Pitbull is one of Bellator’s double-champs, holding the 145 and 155 strap. Cyborg thinks we are in for a great fight.
“I think it will be a great fight. Pitbull should have been one of the fighter’s of the year for 2019 and I think Pedro Carvalho is world class. I’m excited to see who can continue moving forward in the tournament. I love the Grand Prix format of Bellator and will be watching that fight live.”
Cris Cyborg will continue to leave her mark on the combat sports world, wether it be in MMA or boxing. But more importantly, she will he leaving her mark on the world as a philanthropist. Follow Cris Cyborg on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to follow her on her mission to make the world a better place.