In the first of three title fights at UFC 214 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday night, Cris Cyborg finally got what many believe she should’ve had from the beginning of her Octagon career — a UFC belt.
Cyborg became the second women’s featherweight champion — after Germaine de Randamie picked up the inaugural title earlier this year — on the pay-per-view main card against former Invicta FC bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger.
Evinger impressed most by simply hanging in there in the first two rounds — most of Cyborg’s opponents fold earlier than that. Somewhat surprisingly, Cyborg outpointed Evinger throughout the first 10 minutes, but did not dominate her, per se. Cyborg played this fight smart, it seemed, which eventually paid off.
Evinger had success in the first two rounds with takedowns. She was able to get Cyborg down to the mat more than once before getting finished, but the much stronger Cyborg muscled her way out from bottom quickly.
But Evinger couldn’t hang on forever — Cyborg finally overwhelmed her opponent early in the third round with strikes, claiming her long-awaited UFC championship.
Official result: Cris Cyborg def. Tonya Evinger via TKO (strikes) at 1:56 of round 3 to win UFC women’s featherweight title
This was Cyborg’s third UFC victory. Evinger made her debut and is now 0-1 in the Octagon.
UFC 214 is headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2.