Cris Cyborg aiming for boxing career after UFC contract ends

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It is not yet known when Cris Cyborg will fight next in the UFC. (Getty Images)
It is not yet known when Cris Cyborg will fight next in the UFC. (Getty Images)

It’s no secret that it has been increasingly difficult to find credible opponents for UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. Her dominant run in mixed martial arts has seen her go undefeated since starting her career 0-1. With her current record at 20-1 with one No Contest and no true test in sight, Cyborg is now considering a transition to the boxing ring once she completes the final two fights on her current contract.

This is not something that Cyborg suggested subtly as she showed up over the weekend at the Gennady Golovkin vs. Vanes Martirosyan HBO Boxing event in Los Angeles wearing a “Cyborg vs. Braekhus 2019” shirt. The shirt was meant for Cecilia Braekhus, who defended her WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and IBO women’s welterweight titles on the undercard against Kali Reis. The Norwegian champion sports a record of 33-0 with 9 knockouts. Although Braekhus is unbeaten, she’s gone relatively unknown by the masses. That would certainly change if Cyborg was granted the opportunity to face her in the squared circle.

It’s something that Cyborg has toyed with before. She was seen sparring with two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields last summer and Shields took to Twitter to rate the Brazilian’s boxing ability a seven out of ten. Braekhus didn’t shy away from the possibility of facing the UFC champion.

“[Cyborg] is one option, absolutely,” Braekhus said at the postfight news conference on Saturday. “I was very surprised – I saw [Cyborg’s] fight against Holly Holm, the former No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world and she was really giving her competition on the striking game. Yes, that kind of tickled me for a fight against Cyborg. I know she’s very interested in that. She’s texting me and writing me, she really wants to do this and if we can get it done, sure. I think it would be a spectacular thing to do.”

It is not yet known when Cyborg will fight next in the UFC. A fight with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes is possible, but Nunes first will have to defend her title against Raquel Pennington on Saturday at UFC 225. That makes a fight with Cyborg unable to take place until the fall. She could also face the winner of Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson, which also takes place at UFC 225. Nevertheless, Cyborg is serious about a boxing career after her contract is up.

She recently told Yahoo Sports that she would need “4-6 months of training” before she’s ready to compete professionally. She also stated that boxing wouldn’t be a one off and she could possibly compete in both sports. With the gaps in between her fights and a lack of competition in the UFC, perhaps Cyborg will be able to compete in both sports simultaneously.

Only time will tell.

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