Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg was widely considered one of, if not the, greatest female fighters of all time, but then ‘The Lioness’ came along and turned the MMA world on its head.
Many expected a razor close fight between Cyborg and Amanda Nunes when they fought for the women’s featherweight title at UFC 232, but Nunes proved to be in a league of her own, picking Justino apart before eventually finishing the Brazilian with a massive right hand in the first round, becoming the first female two-division champ in UFC history.
Nunes has since gone to defend her bantamweight title against both Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, beating the latter via unanimous decision at UFC 245 this past month. Cyborg, 34, rebounded with a decision win over Felicia Spencer before signing with Bellator MMA earlier this year.
With Cyborg set to make her Bellator debut against Julia Budd in the new year, Bellator president Scott Coker, who formerly worked with Cyborg under the Strikeforce banner, hailed the multi-promotion champ as ‘the greatest female fighter of all time’.
“Cyborg is the greatest female fighter of all time. I don’t care what anybody says. I was there in the beginning too, I’ve seen it all unfold, and it’s a much different environment today than it was back then. But I know who’s been dominating for the last 10 years and who’s been destroying people for the last 10 years,” Coker said at a recent media scrum (H/T BJPenn.com).
“10 years from now we can have a different conversation, see how far different ladies can take it. But as far as today, you have the greatest female fighter of all-time fighting Julia Budd.”
Cyborg will take on Budd for the women’s featherweight title in the Bellator 238 main event. The PPV takes place next month, Jan. 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.