Cris Cyborg wins UFC debut in 81 seconds

Nissi Icasiano
Cris Cyborg wins UFC debut in 81 seconds
Invicta FC featherweight titleholder Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino tears through Leslie Smith at UFC 198

MANILA, Philippines – Invicta FC featherweight titleholder Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino made a short but emphatic debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship by easily taking out American fighter Leslie Smith in a 140-pound catchweight bout at UFC 198 on Sunday, May 15 (Manila time) at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil. 

Being on the radar of the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization since Strikeforce folded in early 2013, the 30-year-old Brazilian finally set foot inside the famed UFC Octagon, making the most of her opportunity by stopping Smith via first-round technical knockout. 

It only took Justino 81 seconds to get the job done, dropping Smith with a solid left hook and a follow-up dynamite right cross before swarming her opponent on the ground with heavy punches from above and a volley of hammerfists to compel referee Eduardo Herdy to halt the contest.

With the impressive victory over Smith, Justino improves her prizefighting standing to 16-1 (1 no contest) and extends her winning streak to 15 fights. 

In addition, “Cyborg” scores her 14th career knockout and her tenth-consecutive stoppage triumph. 

Many expected that Justino would call out Ronda Rousey for a super-fight in her post-fight interview, but it surprised everyone in attendance that she did not mention the name of the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

Justino instead said that she is open to fighting under the UFC umbrella in a catchweight contest and looks to defend her Invicta FC featherweight belt in the future. 

On the other hand, Smith downgrades to an 8-7-1 slate and heads back to the losing territory after outpointing Rin Nakai by way of unanimous decision this past March. –

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