Cris Cyborg

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Cris Cyborg
Cristiane Santos.jpg
Cyborg in 2009
BornCristiane Justino Venâncio
(1985-07-09) July 9, 1985 (age 35)
Curitiba, Brazil
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight143.8 lb (65.2 kg; 10.27 st)[2]
Reach68 in (173 cm)[3]
StyleMuay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofSan Diego, California, U.S.[4]
TeamChute Boxe Academy
The Arena MMA
Atos Jiu-Jitsu
RVCA Training Center
TrainerRudimar Fedrigo
RankBlack belt in Muay Thai[5][6] under Rafael Cordeiro[citation needed]
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under André Galvão[6]
Years active2005–present
Kickboxing record
By knockout2
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout18
By submission1
By decision4
By knockout1
By submission1
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: March 27, 2014

Cristiane Justino Venâncio (born July 9, 1985), known professionally by her ring name Cris Cyborg (and formerly by her married name Cristiane Santos), is a Brazilian[1] mixed martial artist currently signed to Bellator MMA, where she is the current Bellator Women's Featherweight World Champion.[7] She is also a former UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion.[8][9] She is the only MMA fighter in history, male or female, to become a Grand Slam Champion, holding world championships across four major mixed martial arts promotions. Cyborg first rose to prominence when she won the Strikeforce title on August 15, 2009, by defeating Gina Carano via first-round technical knock-out (TKO).[10][11][12]

Early life[edit]

Cyborg was a national-level team handball player in Brazil before being discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, a Chute Boxe Academy trainer.[13]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

She made her anticipated United States MMA debut on July 26, 2008, against Shayna Baszler at EliteXC: Unfinished Business.[14] She won the fight by TKO in the second round.[15]

She faced Yoko Takahashi on October 4, 2008, at EliteXC: Heat. She won the fight by unanimous decision.[16]

She was scheduled to face Dutch submission specialist Marloes Coenen at XMMA 7 on February 27, 2009, but backed out of the fight after signing a new contract with Strikeforce.[17] Cyborg earned a BJJ Purple Belt under her jiu-jitsu instructor Cristiano Marcello in 2009.[18]


She later signed to fight for Strikeforce,[17] which greatly increased the chance that a fight with Gina Carano would take place. In her Strikeforce debut, she faced Hitomi Akano on April 11, 2009, at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz. Cyborg came in six pounds overweight for the fight. Akano originally rejected the fight due to Cyborg failing to make weight but later accepted the fight.[19] She defeated Akano by TKO in the third round.[20]

Before the fight with Carano, Cyborg was interviewed by's reporter Aaron Tru. When asked how long it would take to submit Carano with a choke hold, she choked him.[21]

She fought Gina Carano on August 15, 2009, at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg for the Women's Featherweight Championship. Cyborg won via TKO at 4:59 of the 5:00 first round.[22] The card was the first time that a major promotion had featured a main event between women. After the match, she hugged Carano, and stated in her interview that she had the utmost respect for Carano, and that it was an honor to fight her.

She next defended her title against Dutch standout Marloes Coenen at a Strikeforce event on January 30, 2010.[23] She won the fight via TKO at 3:40 of round 3.[24]

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that the next challenger for Cyborg would most likely be Erin Toughill.[25] However, Toughill later announced her intentions to leave Strikeforce and plans for the fight were cancelled.[26]

On April 7, 2010, Coker stated that Cyborg would fight again in June.[27] She faced Jan Finney at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum[28] and won the fight via KO in the second round.[29] Her contract with Strikeforce expired on June 26, 2011. She renewed her Strikeforce contract on August 25, 2011.

Doping violations and suspension[edit]

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.[30] 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.[31]

Invicta Fighting Championships[edit]

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.[32] However, Gomes suffered an injury and Cyborg instead faced Fiona Muxlow.[33][34] Cyborg was successful in her return, winning the bout via TKO in the first round.[35][36]

Cyborg faced Marloes Coenen in a rematch for the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg on July 13, 2013.[37][38] She defeated Coenen by TKO in the fourth round to become the first Invicta FC featherweight champion.[39][40]

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.[41][42][43] She had initially been set to fight Martina Jindrova but Jindrova withdrew with injury.[44][45]

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.[46][47][48] Baars officially knocked down Cyborg in the first round with a head kick and in the fifth round with a spinning heel kick, although referee Tony Weeks missed at least two other occasions throughout the fight where a knockdown could have been issued. Cyborg hit the canvas from a front kick in one occasion and from a knee on another, both times they were ruled slips by the referee.[49]

In February 2015, Cyborg returned to MMA to defend her Invicta Featherweight title against Charmaine Tweet in the main event at Invicta FC 11. She successfully defended her title, winning the fight via TKO in just under a minute in the first round.[50]

Cyborg faced Faith Van Duin on July 9, 2015, at Invicta FC 13: Cyborg vs. Van Duin. She won the fight by TKO in the first round due to a knee to the body and punches.[51][52]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In March 2015, it was announced that Cyborg had signed with the UFC. Cyborg made her promotional debut at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith at a catchweight of 140 pounds.[53] She won the fight by TKO in the first round.[54]

Cyborg faced promotional newcomer Lina Länsberg in a catchweight (140 lb) bout on September 24, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 95.[55] The referee stopped the fight midway through the second round after Länsberg could not effectively defend herself.[56]

In December 2016 UFC was notified of a potential USADA doping violation by Cyborg. Cyborg's team immediately responded that it was in regards to a substance that helped her recover from her weight cut.[57][58] On February 17, 2017, Cyborg was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Therefore, her suspension was lifted, and she was immediately eligible to compete.[59]

In March 2017 Cyborg vacated her Invicta featherweight title and called out Germaine de Randamie for the belt targeting UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.[8][9] The match fell apart since Germaine de Randamie refused to fight, stating that Cyborg was a proven drug cheater and she was willing to get stripped of the belt for not fighting Cyborg.[60] De Randamie was stripped of her belt on June 19, 2017, by UFC[61] and Cyborg was expected to face Megan Anderson to fight for the vacated UFC Women's Featherweight Championship at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, California.[62][63] On June 27, Anderson pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons and was replaced by current Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Tonya Evinger.[64] Cyborg won by TKO in the third round to claim her first UFC championship.[65]

In the first defense of her title and the first fight of her new four-fight contract, Cyborg faced Holly Holm on December 30, 2017, in the main event at UFC 219.[66] She won the fight via unanimous decision.[67] This win also earned her her first Fight of the Night bonus.[68][69]

Cyborg faced former Invicta bantamweight champion, Yana Kunitskaya, on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222 for her second featherweight title defense.[70] Cyborg won the fight by TKO in the first round.[71] After the win, she gave out 222 burgers to Los Angeles' homeless, as her way of celebration.[72]

Cyborg faced the reigning UFC Women's bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, for the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship on December 29, 2018, at UFC 232.[73] Nunes defeated Cyborg by knockout early in the first round, handing her the first knockout loss in her MMA career.[74]

Cyborg faced Felicia Spencer on July 27, 2019 at UFC 240 in the co-main event.[75] She won the fight via unanimous decision.[76]

Following the fight against Spencer, which was the last fight on her contract, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC would not negotiate a new contract with Cyborg, and they would waive her three-month exclusive negotiating period. This allowed her to immediately begin negotiations with other organizations.[77]

Bellator MMA[edit]

On September 3, 2019, it was announced Cyborg had signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.[7]

Cyborg faced Julia Budd for the Bellator Women's Featherweight Championship on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California Bellator 238.[78] She won the fight via technical knockout in round four.[79]

For the fight with Budd, Cyborg trained in South Africa with trainers Richie Quan, Boyd Allen, and Martin Van Staden. Her and her team's goal for the camp was to train for well-roundedness and to be ready for anything. [80]

After winning her fourth World Championship, Cyborg has stated she would like to make an attempt at a belt in boxing. [81]

In the first defense of her title, Cyborg faced Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 249 on October 15, 2020.[82] She won the bout via second round submission, earning the first submission of her MMA career.[83]

Personal life[edit]

Cyborg was married to MMA fighter Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos,[14] and "adopted" his nickname.[84] The couple split in December 2011.[85] She has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2016.[1] Cyborg announced her engagement to long time boyfriend, trainer and ex MMA athlete Ray Elbe in 2017.

Cyborg has begun work with Fight For The Forgotten, a non-profit organized by Justin Wren. Cyborg, along with Fight For the Forgotten, dig wells to provide drinking water in Uganda for the Pygmys. [86]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
26 matches 23 wins 2 losses
By knockout 18 1
By submission 1 1
By decision 4 0
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 23–2 (1) Arlene Blencowe Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 249 15 October 2020 2 2:36 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Defended the Bellator Women's Featherweight World Championship.
Win 22–2 (1) Julia Budd TKO (punches) Bellator 238 January 25, 2020 4 1:14 Inglewood, California, United States Won the Bellator Women's Featherweight World Championship.
Win 21–2 (1) Felicia Spencer Decision (unanimous) UFC 240 July 27, 2019 3 5:00 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Loss 20–2 (1) Amanda Nunes KO (punch) UFC 232 December 29, 2018 1 0:51 Inglewood, California, United States Lost the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 20–1 (1) Yana Kunitskaya TKO (punches) UFC 222 March 3, 2018 1 3:25 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 19–1 (1) Holly Holm Decision (unanimous) UFC 219 December 30, 2017 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 18–1 (1) Tonya Evinger TKO (knees) UFC 214 July 29, 2017 3 1:56 Anaheim, California, United States Won the vacant UFC Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 17–1 (1) Lina Länsberg TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg September 24, 2016 2 2:29 Brasília, Brazil Catchweight (140 lbs) bout.
Win 16–1 (1) Leslie Smith TKO (punches) UFC 198 May 14, 2016 1 1:21 Curitiba, Brazil Catchweight (140 lbs) bout.
Win 15–1 (1) Daria Ibragimova KO (punches) Invicta FC 15: Cyborg vs. Ibragimova January 16, 2016 1 4:58 Costa Mesa, California, United States Defended the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship.
Win 14–1 (1) Faith Van Duin TKO (knee to the body and punches) Invicta FC 13: Cyborg vs. Van Duin July 9, 2015 1 0:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 13–1 (1) Charmaine Tweet TKO (punches) Invicta FC 11: Cyborg vs. Tweet February 27, 2015 1 0:46 Los Angeles, California, United States Defended the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 12–1 (1) Marloes Coenen TKO (punches and elbows) Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg July 13, 2013 4 4:10 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Won the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship.
Win 11–1 (1) Fiona Muxlow TKO (knees and punches) Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson April 5, 2013 1 3:46 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Invicta FC Featherweight title eliminator.
NC 10–1 (1) Hiroko Yamanaka NC (overturned) Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal December 17, 2011 1 0:16 San Diego, California, United States For the Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship. Originally a TKO (punches) win for Cyborg; overturned and subsuquently stripped of the championship after testing positive for stanozolol.
Win 10–1 Jan Finney TKO (knee to the body) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum June 26, 2010 2 2:56 San Jose, California, United States Defended the Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 9–1 Marloes Coenen TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Miami January 30, 2010 3 3:40 Sunrise, Florida, United States Defended the Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 8–1 Gina Carano TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg August 15, 2009 1 4:59 San Jose, California, United States Won the inaugural Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 7–1 Hitomi Akano TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz April 11, 2009 3 0:35 San Jose, California, United States Catchweight (150 lbs) bout; Cyborg missed weight.
Win 6–1 Yoko Takahashi Decision (unanimous) EliteXC: Heat October 4, 2008 3 3:00 Sunrise, Florida, United States Catchweight (150 lbs) bout.
Win 5–1 Shayna Baszler TKO (punches) EliteXC: Unfinished Business July 26, 2008 2 2:48 Stockton, California, United States Catchweight (140 lbs) bout.
Win 4–1 Marise Vitoria TKO (stomps) Storm Samurai 12 November 25, 2006 1 1:27 Curitiba, Brazil
Win 3–1 Elaine Santiago TKO (corner stoppage) Storm Samurai 11 May 21, 2006 1 2:46 Curitiba, Brazil
Win 2–1 Chris Schroeder TKO (punches) Storm Samurai 10 January 28, 2006 1 N/A Curitiba, Brazil
Win 1–1 Vanessa Porto Decision (unanimous) Storm Samurai 9 November 20, 2005 3 5:00 Curitiba, Brazil
Loss 0–1 Erica Paes Submission (kneebar) Show Fight 2 May 17, 2005 1 1:46 Curitiba, Brazil


Muay Thai record[edit]

2 Wins (1 KO, 1 TKO), 1 Loss, 0 Draws
Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location
Loss 2-1 Netherlands Jorina Baars UD Lion Fight 14 March 28, 2014 5 3:00 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
For inaugural Lion Fight Muay Thai Women's World Welterweight Championship.
Win 2-0 France Jennifer Colomb TKO Lion Fight 11 September 20, 2013 3 0:54 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 1-0 Brazil Edna Gloria KO Estimulo de Muay Thai October 21, 2006 1 1:30 Brazil Curitiba, Paraná
  Draw/No contest

Grappling record[edit]

8 Matches, 7 Wins (1 Submission), 1 Loss
Result Rec Opponent Method Event Division Type Date Location
Win 7-1 Finland Venla Luukkonen Points (11-0) IBJJF World Championships
(purple belt)
+74kg Gi June 1, 2012 United States Long Beach, CA
Win 6-1 United States Hillary VanOrnum Points (4-0)
Win 5-1 United States Maia Matalon Submission (armbar)
Win 4-1 United States Amanda Lucas Points (8-0) IBJJF World Championships
(purple belt)
+74kg Gi June 3, 2011 United States Long Beach, CA
Win 3-1 Canada Sarah Draht Points (16-0)
Win 2-1 Brazil Rosangela Conceicao Referee Decision ADCC World Championships +60kg Nogi September 27, 2009 Spain Barcelona
Loss 1-1 South Africa Penny Thomas Negative Points (-2 -1)
Win 1-0 Sweden Ida Hansson Points (10-0) September 26, 2009

Pay-per-view bouts[edit]

No. Event Fight Date Venue City PPV Buys
1. UFC 219 Cyborg vs. Holm December 30, 2017 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. 380,000
2. UFC 222 Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya March 3, 2018 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. 260,000
Total sales 640,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c UOL Esportes (December 13, 2016). "Cris Cyborg se naturaliza cidadã americana, veja". UOL Esportes (in Portuguese). Brazil: UOL Esportes. Archived from the original on December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016. Cris 'Cyborg' is the newest American citizen. After fulfilling all the requirements demanded by the U.S. government last August, including evidence of general, historical and English knowledge, the Curitiban became naturalized and guaranteed dual citizenship. Through a video posted live on her Facebook account, Cyborg released the exact moment she received the certificate of American citizenship. Now, the Curitiban will enter with two flags inside the cages of MMA: the one of Brazil and the one of the U.S.
  2. ^ "Bellator 238 weigh-in results: Champ Budd (144.5), challenger Cyborg (143.8) set to clash". MMA Junkie. 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
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  5. ^ "Fight profile". Retrieved February 26, 2016.
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  9. ^ a b "Cyborg Justino vacates title, challenges UFC champ Germaine de Randamie".
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  41. ^ Jennifer Colomb to Now Fight Cris Cyborg at Lion Fight 11
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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
New championship 1st Strikeforce Featherweight Champion
August 15, 2009 – January 6, 2012
New championship 1st Invicta FC Featherweight Champion
July 13, 2013 – March 24, 2017
Succeeded by
Megan Anderson
Title last held by
Germaine de Randamie
2nd UFC Featherweight Champion
July 29, 2017 – December 29, 2018
Succeeded by
Amanda Nunes