What's next for Cris 'Cyborg' Justino if the UFC keeps refusing to make a new weight division?

Kevin Iole
It took Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino a little more than one round to finish off Lina Lansberg. (Getty)
It took Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino a little more than one round to finish off Lina Lansberg. (Getty)

Cris “Cyborg” Justino has already won two title belts, so the fact she doesn’t have a UFC division to compete in doesn’t faze her much.

The powerful Brazilian is simply interested in putting on the biggest fights possible. She won for the 17th consecutive time, posting her 15th knockout with a one-sided beatdown of Lina Lansberg.

Justino blistered Lansberg with a powerful right hand and then pummeled her on the ground, forcing referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the bout in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Brasilia, Brazil, at 2:29 of the second.

Justino was far bigger and stronger and toyed with the gritty Lansberg most of the night.

“Cris is amazing in every way,” Lansberg said. “I thought I would do better, but she is really good.”

Justino forced Lansberg against the cage early in the first round, and Lansberg was unable to get off. Justino took her time and landed combinations, bloodying Lansberg’s nose and mouth. Late in the first, Justino slammed her and got into mount, going for the finish with elbows.

Lansberg survived, but it was only a temporary reprieve.

The fighters were soon back against the cage again in the second round and Justino once again showed her power and accuracy. She again took Lansberg down and this time she finished it.

It makes little sense that a fighter as talented and popular as Justino doesn’t have a division in which to compete. But UFC president Dana White has been adamant that he won’t create a featherweight division for her, and has insisted that she fight at a catchweight of 141 pounds.

It’s extremely difficult for Justino to make that weight, but it only seems to make her take her anger out on her opponents.

Given the lack of a division, there is no logical next opponent for her and no title to pursue. That, however, doesn’t seem to bother her.

“I already have two belts at home,” Justino said. “I just want to put on super fights for my fans and make them happy.”

That she did. The crowd in Brasilia roared its approval of her every move, and she’s clearly developed into a major star.

Several of the UFC’s top bantamweights have said they’d fight her, but because Justino is so large, they’re always going to be at a disadvantage.

It would seem to be the wise move for the UFC to take advantage of Justino’s enormous talents and create a featherweight division for her.

Lansberg has a good Muay Thai background, but she was no match for Justino in any area on Saturday. Justino physically overwhelmed her, hitting her with powerful shots that were both fast and well-placed.

‘I knew she had good Muay Thai and would want to keep it standing, so I took her to the ground and gave her the ground and pound,” Justino said.

Justino lost her pro debut and has since won 17 in succession, with 15 of them by finish. She also had one no contest, which was a knockout victory that was changed to a no contest in 2011 when she tested positive for a banned substance.

But she’s been part of the UFC’s USADA testing pool since the 24/7/365 testing went into effect last year, and going into Saturday’s event, she’d passed all 10 tests she’s been given.

It seems pretty obvious she’ll become a big-time star if she has her own division to compete in where she’ll face opponents her own size.

She is a special talent and deserves to be treated as such.

 

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