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UFC Fight Night: Cristiane Justino vs Lina Lansberg Toe to Toe Preview - A Complete Breakdown

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Phil and David break down everything you need to know about the squash match between Cyborg and Lina Lansberg for UFN 95, and everything you don't about post-apocalyptic rituals.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Cyborg will try hard not to kill Lansberg this September 24, 2016 at the Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasília, Brazil.

One sentence summary

Phil: Future post-apocalyptic generations who find this fight in isolation will see it as a weird purification ritual, where the priestess ritually starves herself for the crowds before destroying the hapless sacrifice.

David: The first real life version of the Rancor versus a Gamorrean guard threatens to subvert whatever integrity MMA has left.


Record: Cristiane Justino 16-1-1 NC Lina Lansberg 6-1

Odds: Cristiane Justino -1300 Lina Lansberg -850

History / Introduction to the fighters

Phil: Cyborg has been maligned in a multitude of different ways over her time in MMA. First, everyone was annoyed with her for destroying the then-poster girl, Gina Carano, and driving her out of the sport. Then they were mad with her for popping (a diuretic, notably). That she had single-handedly killed WMMA was a real thing that some people said at this point.

Now, they seem to be mad that she's not smaller. Whatever. I'm happy with her roaming around as a secret boss character. I just wish that the UFC could maybe get her some slightly more competitive fights. Put a $1 million bounty on her head or something.

David: So late 90's era Gary Busey, Rutger Hauer, and Charles Dutton versus Cyborg in the woods? Yes please. Wait... that's probably a remake currently in the works helmed by one of those despicable MMA directors who think STEMM is not a tragic mistake. For such an elite fighter, Cyborg has led the career of a nomad. Funny how this has been a badge of honor for Paul Daley, Eddie Alvarez, and Gegard Mousasi. But Cyborg? Sport killer!

Phil: Lina Lansberg is a transfer over from Muai Thai and, by all reports, ballet before that, so she's no stranger to tough sports. Seriously, I hear ballet is goddamn brutal. Her MT record is difficult to dig up with accurate numbers for, but it's not dissimilar record to Joanna Jedrzejczyk's, namely some strong wins but an apparent ceiling demonstrated by losses to fighters like the Shevchenko sisters.

David: Lansberg is that late-to-the-party scrapper with legitimate raw talent, but not enough time to hatch from her coccoon. She's looked comfortable in the cage. Perhaps a consequence of her ballet history. Hopefully Rogan doesn't turn that into a narrative about how more fighters should take ballet the way playing soccer gives you awesome leg kicks. Whatever the case, it's too bad this has to be her first high profile North American fight after splitting time in Denmark, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

What's at stake?

Phil: Lansberg can really announce herself if she pulls this off. Mostly everyone's just watching for the grisly violence though.

David: Spectacle. It's what's for dinner.

Where do they want it?

Phil: Cyborg has developed in recent years into a much more technical fighter. Rather than bulling in, she steps in with short steps behind a probing jab, then pulls back and counters returns with the right hand. She corrals into space with a quick lead head kick and and rear leg outside kick. She's also developed some more body work, including a nice right straight to the breadbasket. She's a thunderous clinch striker, and occasionally moves to the body lock to hit takedowns, and is predictably terrifying from top position.

Predictably terrifying is essentially Santos in a nutshell. Her only real moments of looking human have been in some ugly ground exchanges with Carano a long time ago, and in her kickboxing loss to the extremely skilled Jorina Baars, where Cyborg showed a great deal of heart.

David: Cyborg has always been technical. But in the past, she used that technique to bludgeon. Now she strikes like they're incisions. She already knows she hits harder than everybody else. It's nice to see her groom those pugilism assets into something more focused, and versatile.

Phil: Lansberg works best forcing her opponent backwards with the jab and front kick, both of which are crisp and well chambered. However, she has some fairly sizable problems in this fight. First is an overall lack of power. She's not going to be able to back Cyborg up. Secondly is her tendency to use a high guard which can and is split up the middle by almost everyone she fights. Thirdly, she just doesn't appear to respond well to pure aggression. She's not much of a counterpuncher, instead opting to clinch. Given that she's displayed only decent takedown defense and not much of a ground game, that doesn't seem to bode well.

David: Lansberg would be a refined product in King of the Cage, but in the UFC, she's gonna look very awkward. Lansberg does two things fairly well for a work in progress late bloomer: scrambles in a scholarly manner on the ground, and chambers a swift head kick at range. That's pretty much it. She has a clear understanding of fundamentals. Just not the raw athleticism to turn those fundamentals into fundamental velocity. I mean, she got thrown down by Emma Delaney. This will not end well.

Insight from Past Fights

Phil: Nothing hugely relevant, but I will say that it's quite puzzling that the UFC put up one of Lansberg's earliest fights as her only available bout on Fight Pass, one where she honestly looked pretty dreadful. If you've got a fighter who's perceived as being fed to their opponent, why would you put one of their worst fights up to reinforce the point?

David: I'm pretty sure that was part of their plan. In the past, the UFC loved to market and promote glorified undercarders like they had a real shot. Remember when Che Mills was a killer? Not even a criminal report. But something like Jack the Ripper incarnate except with mad dog boxing skills. That's what I got from Rogan's tone at least. I think this part of their mission to civilize promotion, so to speak. "Let's look at the lion's prey in its natural habitat..."


Phil: Cyborg weight cut. This whole 140lbs thing is insanely stupid. I think it's basically there as an incentive for W135 fighters to go up and fight her because they think she'll be more vulnerable. It all looks deeply unhealthy.

David: Cyborg weight cut and I guess some of 2016's underdog magic dust. The year hasn't exactly been kind to the elite masses.


Phil: Some can see Lansberg doing better than expected. Perhaps. I just don't like her tendency to shell and tie up at the first sign of trouble. The main question is more likely whether Cyborg finishes her standing, in the clinch or on the ground, because all three are possibilities. Cristiane Cyborg Justino by TKO, round 1

David: Lansberg doesn't have a sturdy defense. She's loose in the pocket, and even at range. She has the instincts of a counterpuncher, but not the mechanics of one. There will be blood. Cristiane Justino by TKO, round 1.