|Born||Cristiane Justino Venâncio|
July 9, 1985
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)|
|Reach||68 in (173 cm)|
|Style||Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||San Diego, California, U.S.|
|Team||Chute Boxe Academy|
The Arena MMA
RVCA Training Center
|Rank||Black belt in Muay Thai under Rafael Cordeiro |
Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rubens 'Cobrinha' Charles
|Mixed martial arts record|
|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–American mixed martial artist who as of January 2021 competes in Bellator MMA, where she is the Bellator Women's Featherweight Champion, having held the title since January 2020.  She is also a former UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion. 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 is widely regarded as one of the greatest female mixed martial artists of all time. 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).
A daughter of divorced parents and a father who had problems with alcoholism, Cristiane Justino started her sports career at the age of twelve, playing handball at a national level in Brazil. Due to her success in the sport, she won numerous athletic scholarships on private universities after her high school graduation, and eventually chose to pursue the path of physical education in the capital of Paraná, Curitiba. Later, she planned to move to the city of Cascavel to become a professional handball player and finish her college studies there, before being discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, a Chute Boxe Academy trainer who was impressed by her physical size and advised her to enter the world of fighting.
I was participating in a friendly handball tournament between men and women and one of the boys, called Jorginho, was a friend of Mestre Rafael and Mestre Rudimar. He saw me training handball and asked me if I liked fighting. I replied that I thought it was cool, but I had never done it. He invited me to take a Muay Thai class and I liked it!— Cris Cyborg about the beginnings of her fighting career
Mixed martial arts career
Justino, without yet incorporating the nickname "Cyborg", made her professional debut in mixed martial arts at the age of 19 on May 17, 2005 at Showfight 2 against multiple time world BJJ champion Erica Paes. Paes, who was five years her senior, was the first woman to train at the legendary Brazilian Top Team academy, a rival gym of the Chute Boxe gym where Cyborg trained. Cyborg lost the fight via submission in the first round, which remained her only professional loss in MMA until 2018, when she lost for the second time in her career against Amanda Nunes. Although the method of win for Paes was officially recorded as a submission due to a kneebar, Cyborg's team claims that she tapped out due to an elbow injury sustained after a fall in the fight.
After losing her MMA debut, Cyborg earned her first victory in the sport by defeating Vanessa Porto via unanimous decision. She subsequently won her next three fights in the Brazilian promotion Storm Samurai via first-round TKO finish, improving her record to 4-1.
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. Cyborg earned a BJJ Purple Belt under her jiu-jitsu instructor Cristiano Marcello in 2009.
She later signed to fight for Strikeforce, 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. She defeated Akano by TKO in the third round.
Before the fight with Carano, Cyborg was interviewed by mmaworldwide.com's reporter Aaron Tru. When asked how long it would take to submit Carano with a choke hold, she choked him.
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. 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.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that the next challenger for Cyborg would most likely be Erin Toughill. However, Toughill later announced her intentions to leave Strikeforce and plans for the fight were cancelled.
On April 7, 2010, Coker stated that Cyborg would fight again in June. She faced Jan Finney at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum and won the fight via KO in the second round. Her contract with Strikeforce expired on June 26, 2011. She renewed her Strikeforce contract on August 25, 2011.
Doping violations and suspension
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.
Invicta Fighting Championships
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 at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg on July 13, 2013. She 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 had initially been set to fight Martina Jindrova but Jindrova withdrew with injury.
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, 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.
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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
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. She won the fight by TKO in the first round.
Cyborg faced promotional newcomer Lina Länsberg 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 Länsberg could not effectively defend herself.
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. 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.
In March 2017 Cyborg vacated her Invicta featherweight title and called out Germaine de Randamie for the belt targeting UFC 214 in Anaheim, California. 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. De Randamie was stripped of her belt on June 19, 2017, by UFC 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. On June 27, Anderson pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons and was replaced by current Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion Tonya Evinger. Cyborg won by TKO in the third round to claim her first UFC championship.
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. She won the fight via unanimous decision. This win also earned her her first Fight of the Night bonus.
Cyborg faced former Invicta bantamweight champion, Yana Kunitskaya, on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222 for her second featherweight title defense. Cyborg won the fight by TKO in the first round. After the win, she gave out 222 burgers to Los Angeles' homeless, as her way of celebration.
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. Nunes defeated Cyborg by knockout early in the first round, handing her the first knockout loss in her MMA career.
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.
Cyborg faced Julia Budd for the Bellator Women's Featherweight Championship on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California Bellator 238. She won the fight via technical knockout in round four.
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.
After winning her fourth World Championship, Cyborg has stated she would like to make an attempt at a belt in boxing.
In the first defense of her title, Cyborg faced Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 249 on October 15, 2020. She won the bout via second round submission, earning the first submission of her MMA career.
Cyborg made her second defense of the title against Leslie Smith on May 21, 2021 in the main event at Bellator 259. They previously met at UFC 198, which was Cyborg's UFC debut, where she won by TKO in the first round. She won the bout via TKO after knocking Smith down and finished her with punches late in the last round.
Cyborg was married to MMA fighter Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, and "adopted" his nickname. The couple split in December 2011. She has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2016. Cyborg announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend, trainer, and former MMA athlete Ray Elbe in 2017.  
In 2018, Cyborg legally adopted her teenage niece, making her historically the first mother to hold a UFC championship belt.
Cyborg works with Fight For The Forgotten, a non-profit organization organized by Justin Wren that digs wells to provide drinking water for Ugandan Pygmys. After earning her first submission victory in a 26-fight MMA career, she was awarded her BJJ Black Belt by Rubens 'Cobrinha' Charles.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|27 matches||24 wins||2 losses|
|Win||24–2 (1)||Leslie Smith||TKO (punches)||Bellator 259||May 21, 2021||5||4:51||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Defended the Bellator Women's Featherweight World Championship.|
|Win||23–2 (1)||Arlene Blencowe||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Bellator 249||October 15, 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 subsequently stripped of the championship after testing positive for stanozolol.|
|Win||10–1||Jan Finney||KO (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
|2 Wins (2 (T)KO's), 1 Loss (1 Decision), 0 Draws|
|Loss||2–1||Jorina Baars||UD||Lion Fight 14||March 28, 2014||5||3:00||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|For inaugural Lion Fight Muay Thai Women's World Welterweight Championship.|
|Win||2–0||Jennifer Colomb||TKO||Lion Fight 11||September 20, 2013||3||0:54||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||1–0||Edna Gloria||KO||Estimulo de Muay Thai||October 21, 2006||1||1:30||Curitiba, Paraná|
|8 Matches, 7 Wins (1 Submission), 1 Loss|
|Win||7–1||Venla Luukkonen||Points (11–0)||IBJJF World Championships
|+74kg||Gi||June 1, 2012||Long Beach, CA|
|Win||6–1||Hillary van Ornum||Points (4–0)|
|Win||5–1||Maia Matalon||Submission (armbar)|
|Win||4–1||Amanda Lucas||Points (8–0)||IBJJF World Championships
|+74kg||Gi||June 3, 2011||Long Beach, CA|
|Win||3–1||Sarah Draht||Points (16–0)|
|Win||2–1||Rosângela Conceição||Referee Decision||ADCC World Championships||+60kg||Nogi||September 27, 2009||Barcelona|
|Loss||1–1||Penny Thomas||Negative Points (-2 -1)|
|Win||1–0||Ida Hansson||Points (10–0)||September 26, 2009|
|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|
- List of current Bellator fighters
- List of current mixed martial arts champions
- List of female mixed martial artists
- 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.
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