Image Credit: Cyborg
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is a star in the fight game, wrecking opponents across the world.
Today, her star is shining a lot brighter as she has signed a record-setting deal with Bellator MMA.
Per the organization’s press release, “Bellator is proud to announce the signing of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (21-2, 1 NC) to the organization. The deal – the largest of its kind in women’s MMA history – exclusively secures “Cyborg’s” talents with a multi-year, multi-fight contract.”
Cyborg was most recently with UFC until a few tense weeks this summer with the organization and UFC President, Dana White, led to her being abruptly bounced out of the Las Vegas based MMA kingdom following her win at UFC 240 this past July.
After accusing Cyborg of avoiding a rematch with current UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes, White was interviewed about the situation and pulled no punches when discussing the former champion’s status with the organization.
“All this other bulls&*t she’s putting out there, again, to avoid fighting Amanda Nunes. Message received, I get it. I’m going to release her from her contract.” said White in that interview. “I will not match any offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other organizations and fight these easy fights that she wants. Done. Done deal. I will literally have my lawyer draft a letter to her team that she is free and clear to go wherever she wants. We’re out of the Cyborg business.”
And just like that, Cyborg was done with the UFC. But Scott Coker and Bellator MMA came calling, leading to today’s historic announcement in women’s MMA.
Welcome to the family. pic.twitter.com/BQM29cCUP3
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) September 3, 2019
You can read the rest of the release below:
“Cyborg” joins current champ Julia Budd, Olga Rubin, Arlene Blencowe, Janay Harding and Leslie Smith among others, cementing Bellator’s 145-pound weight class as the strongest women’s featherweight division in MMA.
“Cyborg” joins Bellator following a three-year run in UFC, multiple world titles and a 20-fight unbeaten streak that includes notable victories against Holly Holm, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen and Leslie Smith. Notably, the 34-year-old Curitiba, Brazil-native was the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion, defeating Gina Carano for the title in 2009.
“I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again. ‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival.”