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Cris Cyborg’s Bantamweight Debut Delayed, Will Instead Defend Invicta FC Featherweight Title Early Next Year


(via Invicta FC.)

You may recall that Cris Cyborg (aka Cristiane Justino) was expected to make her highly-anticipated bantamweight debut at Invicta 10 this Friday, in a move that was being heralded as “the beginning of the end of the Rousey Era” by hyperbolic MMA writers across the board (you don’t know). That was until about a month ago, however, when an ankle injury forced Cyborg out of her matchup against an opponent who we’re pretty sure was never even named.

In any case, it has now been a year and a half since we last saw Cyborg compete — save a Muay Thai match here and there — and her Invicta featherweight title has presumably been collecting dust in the same dark corner where her stripped Strikeforce featherweight title sits. So with time working against her, Cyborg has decided to postpone her bantamweight debut in order to simply compete again. She spoke with MMAFighting earlier this morning:

I haven’t fought in a long time. With this injury, I believe the best option now will be fight in my division. I can’t wait anymore, I need to fight. I’m the featherweight champion and Invicta FC needs me to defend my belt.

I believe I will be ready to fight in February. I’m slowly returning to training, so I won’t get injured again. I’m swimming and doing physical therapy since I got back from Thailand. My physical therapist Ivan Carmosino will clear me to train soon.

At this point, Cyborg’s drop to bantamweight has been teased and hinted at more than a new Tool album, and this latest hitch seems like the final straw to me. While Cyborg has been toiling away in obscurity these past couple years, her entire reason for cutting to bantamweight — Ronda Rousey — has risen to become one of the most complete athletes on the planet. Do I still think Cyborg poses some legitimate threats to the women’s bantamweight champ? Undoubtedly, but not nearly as many as she did when she opted out of her UFC contract last year. It almost makes one question her decision to hire Tito Ortiz as her manager.

We’ll keep you updated on Cyborg’s return as information is made available.

-J. Jones

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