Cristiane Justino Venâncio, is a Brazilian and American mixed martial artist born on July 9, 1985. She is commonly referred to by her ring name Cris Cyborg. She is the current UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship, as well as the former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Championship and former Invictia FC World Featherwight Championship. Cyborg first rose to prominence when she won the Strikeforce title on August 15, 2009, by defeating Gina Carano via first-round TKO. She lives in San Diego where she trains and teaches at The Arena.
She started training handball when she was 9 years old, sometimes practicing even with the male team, and later became part of her school handball team. According to her mother, she was very calm as a child and never stayed out late to party.In 2004, the founder and head coach of Chute Boxe Academy, Rudimar Fedrigo, saw her playing in a high school handball championship game, and offered her a card to visit his gym. While she was hesitant at first, Fedrigo, impressed by her strength and athleticism, encouraged her to become an MMA fighter. She started training with Chute Boxe Academy after being discovered by founder Rudimar Fedrigo and went on to earn a black belt in Muay Thai and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She has been a huge fan of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, “the Axe Murderer”, who also trained at Chute Boxe Academy. She has often been called the Female Wanderlei Silva because of her aggressiveness and approach to fighting. Silva himself acknowledged that she fights quite like him, and is the most violent female fighter in the world. She is unbeaten since her only defeat in her debut pro bout, and has a record of 19 wins and 1 loss. Cyborg was married to MMA fighter Evangelista “Cyborg” Santo, an UFC fighter. They couple split in December 2011. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen, since late 2016.
On September 23, 2011, Cyborg announced that she would return to the promotion to face Hiroko Yamanaka. The fight took place at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal on December 17, 2011. She won via TKO just sixteen seconds into the first round; however, on January 6, 2012, it was announced that Cyborg had tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. As a result of the banned substance, the fight’s result was changed to a no contest. Cyborg had her license suspended for one year and was fined $2,500.
Her Invicta Journey:
On February 15, 2013, a month after Strikeforce folded, Cyborg signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championships. She was scheduled to make her debut on April 5 at Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson against Ediane Gomes to determine who would move on to face Marloes Coenen. However, Gomes suffered an injury and Cyborg instead faced Fiona Muxlow. Cyborg was successful in her return, winning the bout via TKO in the first round.
Cyborg faced Marloes Coenen in a rematch for the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship FC on July 13, 2013 and defeated Coenen by TKO in the fourth round to become the first Invicta FC featherweight champion.
She returned to Muay Thai to face Jennifer Colomb at Lion Fight 11 in Las Vegas on September 20, 2013, defeating the previously undefeated Frenchwoman by TKO in round three.
She lost a five-round unanimous decision against Jorina Baars in a fight for the inaugural Lion Fight Women’s Welterweight Championship in the co-main event of Lion Fight 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on March 28, 2014. Baars officially knocked down Cyborg in the first round with a head kick and in the fifth round with a spinning heel kick,
In February 2015, Cyborg returned to MMA to defend her Invicta Featherweight title against Charmaine Tweet in the main event at Invicta FC11 in the first round.
Cyborg faced Faith Van Duin on July 9, 2015, at Invicta FC13 and won the fight by TKO in the first round due to a knee to the body and punches.
Her Ultimate Fighting Championship Journey
Cyborg had signed with the UFC in Marc h 2015 and made her promotional debut at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith at a catchweight .She won the fight by TKO in the first round.
Cyborg faced promotional newcomer Lina Lansberg in a catchweight (140 lb) bout on September 24, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 95. The referee stopped the fight midway through the second round after Lansberg could not effectively defend herself.
On June 27, Anderson pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons and was replaced by current Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship Tonya Evinger and won by TKO in the third round to claim her first UFC championship.
In the first defense of her title, Cyborg faced Holly Holm on December 30, 2017 in the main event at UFC 219 and won the fight via unanimous decision. This win also earned her her first Fight f the Night bonus.
Currently, Cyborg is scheduled to face former Invicta bantamweight champion, Yana Kunitskaya on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222 for her second featherweight title defense.