Cris Cyborg

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Curitiba, Paraná
Birth Sign
Curitiba, Paraná

Cris Cyborg is the stage name of Cristiane Justino Venâncio, a Brazilian-American mixed martial artist who is currently the UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. She is also a former Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion and a former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion. She works at a pet grooming shop and grew interested in MMA after learning that, unlike handball, MMA does not have a red card. After being spotted by founder Rudimar Fedrigo, she began training at Chute Boxe Academy and earned a black belt in Muay Thai and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She was a major fan of “the Axe Murderer,” MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, who also trained at Chute Boxe Academy. Because of her aggression and fighting style, she has been dubbed the Female Wanderlei Silva. Silva has admitted that she fights similarly to him and is the world’s most ferocious female fighter. She has gone undefeated since her lone loss in her pro debut, with 16 wins by KO and two by decision, and nine first-round finishes.

Childhood and Adolescence

Jurandir Justino and Cersima Gorete de Morais gave birth to Cristiane Justino Venâncio on July 9, 1985, in Curitiba, Brazil. Rafael, her brother, was also a student at Chute Boxe Academy.

She began handball training when she was nine years old, sometimes even practicing with the male team, and later joined her school’s handball team. Her mother claims she was a fairly quiet youngster who never remained out late to party.

Rudimar Fedrigo, the founder and head coach of Chute Boxe Academy, observed her play in a high school handball championship game in 2004 and gave her a card to enter his gym. Fedrigo, amazed by her strength and athleticism, urged her to pursue a career as an MMA fighter, despite her reservations at first.

Career of Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg began her MMA career on May 17, 2005, when she was defeated in the first round by Erica Paes through knee-bar submission at the Show Fight 2 promotion in Brazil. She won her debut match against Vanessa Porto at Storm Samurai 9 on November 20, 2005, and went on to win three more first-round matches the following year.

On October 21, 2006, she competed in her maiden Muay Thai event, defeating Edna Gloria by KO 1:30 minutes into the fight at Estimulo de Muay Thai in Curitiba, Paraná. She took a two-year sabbatical from professional fighting after her MMA fight in November 2006.

On July 26, 2008, she returned to MMA in a Catchweight match at EliteXC: Unfinished Business in Stockton, California, where she defeated Shayna Baszler by TKO in the second round. On October 4, 2008, she fought Yoko Takahashi at EliteXC: Heat, winning by unanimous decision in the third round.

Her fight with Dutch submission expert Marloes Coenen at XMMA 7 was canceled in early 2009 when Elite XC went out of business, instead she signed with Strikeforce, which had bought Elite XC. Despite being overweight for her maiden Strikeforce battle against Hitomi Akano at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11, 2009, she entered the fight with her opponent’s agreement and won through third round TKO.

On August 15, 2009, she fought Gina Carano for the first time in the inaugural Women’s Featherweight Championship at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, the first major MMA event headlined by women, in San Jose, California. She won the battle via TKO in the first round with one second to spare, and said afterward that she was honored to fight Carano.

Following an injury to Cyborg, her first title defense against Marloes Coenen was postponed until January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami. She successfully defended her championship by TKOing her opponent in the third round at 3:40 minutes.

Erin Toughill, Cris Cyborg’s next potential challenger, departed Strikeforce before the fight could take place, forcing her to meet Jan Finney at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum on June 26, 2010, where she won by TKO. On August 25, 2011, she renewed her contract with Strikeforce.

On December 17, 2011, she faced Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal, winning by TKO in just 16 seconds of the first round, earning her the moniker “the Mike Tyson of female MMA.” However, after CSAC stated in January 2012 that she had tested positive for illegal stanizol metalobites, the result was thrown out, she was stripped of her title, suspended for a year, and fined $2,500.

She signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championships when Strikeforce folded in early 2013, and made a triumphant comeback against Fiona Muxlow at Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson on April 5, 2013. On July 13, 2013, she fought for the first Invicta FC Featherweight Championship against Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg. She won the bout via fourth-round TKO to become the first Invicta FC Featherweight Champion.

She lost by majority decision in a Muay Thai match against Jorina Baars for the inaugural Lion Fight Women’s Welterweight Championship at Lion Fight 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 28, 2014. Invicta FC 11 on February 27, 2015, she successfully defended her Invicta Featherweight title against Charmaine Tweet by first-minute TKO.

Her last two fights at Invicta FC were on July 9, 2015, against Faith Van Duin, and January 16, 2016, against Daria Ibragimova, both of which she won, defending her featherweight title. She later signed with the UFC and made her official debut on May 14, 2016, with a TKO victory over Leslie Smith at UFC 198.

She then defeated Lina Länsberg in a catchweight bout at UFC Fight Night 95 on September 24, 2016, and was set to face Germaine de Randamie, the first UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. Randamie, on the other hand, declined to face her, citing her previous drug use history, and was stripped of the championship for failing to fight Cyborg.

She defeated Tonya Evinger for the vacant championship at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017, and won the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship by TKO in the third round.

Achievements & Awards

Cris Cyborg is the current UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion and the only Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight World Champion, as well as the first Invicta FC Featherweight World Champion. Many MMA media dubbed her the ‘Female Fighter of the Year’ in 2009, and she received the award twice at the World MMA Awards in 2009 and 2010.

Personal History and Legacy

Cris Cyborg met her future husband Evangelista Santos in 2005 at the Chute Boxe Academy, and they married three months later. Following their marriage, she adopted his nickname, “Cyborg,” as well as his surname, “Santos.” She resumed using her maiden name Justino after their split in December 2011, but kept her stage name ‘Cyborg.’

Estimated Net Worth

Wіth thе еаrnіngѕ thаt ѕhе mаdе frоm hеr ѕuссеѕѕful саrееr, Cris Cyborg nеt wоrth іѕ саlсulаtеd tо bе $6 mіllіоn.


Cris Cyborg claims that her most difficult fights were against Vanessa Porto at Storm Samurai and Yoko Takahashi at EliteXC. Interestingly, both battles were drawn out, but she was able to win by decision.