Cris Cyborg is a Brazilian-American mixed martial artist who competes in the featherweight category. She is currently under contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and has set an unbeaten record since losing her first professional fight in May 2005.
Cyborg is widely regarded as one of the most dominant fighters in the world, having won the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight title, Invicta FC World Featherweight title, and the UFC Women’s Featherweight title.
Who Is Cris Cyborg – Cristiane Justino Venâncio?
Cristiane Justino Venâncio was born on July 9, 1985, in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil and is best known as Cris Cyborg. As a teenager, she competed in handball before being introduced to mixed martial arts by Rudimar Fedrigo, the founder and head coach of the Brazilian Chute Boxe Academy. Impressed by her strength and athleticism, Fedrigo offered her a free Muay Thai course at the Chute Box gym to encourage her to join the sport. There she met a training partner and mixed martial artist Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, to whom she later married.
After months of martial arts training, Cristiane Justino Venâncio made her professional debut in May 2005 under the ring name Cris Cyborg, an adaptation of the name of her then friend Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. The fight was organized by Brazil’s show fight promotion, and Cyborg was defeated in the first round by her opponent Eric Paes. Despite the defeat, Cyborg recorded her first career victory later that year, followed by three consecutive victories in 2006.
With an impressive 4:1 record, Cris Cyborg took a two-year break from sports and finally returned in July 2008 when she made her debut in the United States. The fight, organized by Elite Xtreme Combat MMA Promotion, was called EliteXC: Unfinished Business and Cyborg won in the second round against her opponent Shayna Baszler. Another victory over Toko Takahashi followed at the EliteXC: Heat event in October 2008.
In February 2009, Cris Cyborg joined Strikeforce’s MMA advertising under a worldwide exclusive four-way contract. The talented fighter scored a victory at her Strikeforce debut, after which she defeated Gina Carano in August 2009 to win the Women’s Featherweight Championship, her first title in her career. In 2010 she successfully defended her title over two fights and the following year she renewed her contract with Strikeforce.
In January 2012, Cris Cyborg’s career suffered a blow when she was banned for a year and fined $2,500 after testing positive for banned substances. Upon her return in February 2013, she was signed up for Invicta Fighting Championships due to the dissolution of Strikeforce the previous month. Cyborg remained undefeated during her time at Invicta and she also won the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship in July 2013.
After her contract with Invicta Fighting Championships expired, Cyborg participated in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in March 2015. She won her first two fights under the UFC and extended her professional record to 16-1. Cyborg reached an important milestone in her career on July 29, 2017, when she defeated Tonya Evinger to win her first UFC Championship. In December 2017 and March 2018 she successfully defended the title against Holly Holm and Jana Kunitskaya and extended her W-L-D balance to an impressive 20:1:0. Cyborg will meet bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in December 2018 in the first women’s super fight UFC 232 in bantamweight.
Cris Cyborg was previously married to her compatriot and martial arts colleague Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. The duo met during a training session at the Chute Boxe Academy in the first years of their career. It is not known when they officially entered into marriage, as some details about their relationship remain vague. However, their union ended in divorce in 2011.
Cyborg is currently in a long-term relationship with the “magical” Ray Elbe, a veteran mixed martial arts fighter and instructor. In addition to his illustrious professional career, Elbe is a pioneer of mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Southeast Asia. He is the founder of the Tiger Muay Thai training camp in Phuket, Thailand, the country’s leading mixed martial arts program.
Other Facts About Cris
1. Cris Cyborg is 172 cm (5 feet 8 inches) tall She competes in the 65 kg (145 lb) weight class.
2. The cult MMA fighter has several tattoos on her body, the most prominent of which is a large dragon tattoo along the length of her back.
3. Cyborg established an institution dedicated to martial arts in her native Brazil. The Rio Fight 21 Academy is located in Recreio, Rio de Janeiro, and was inaugurated on June 9, 2016.
4. In December 2016 it was naturalized in the United States.
5. Cris has indicated that she will move on to professional boxing when her contract with the UFC expires.