Cris Cyborg to fight Holly Holm?
Cyborg Eyes Holly Holm For Next Fight
It took her a while: six years since her last Strikeforce bout to be exact but Cyborg is finally a UFC champion. The Brazilian pummeled Invicta FC bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 to win the vacant title. Carried by her momentum, Cyborg called out Holly Holm in an interview.
This is indeed the biggest fight the UFC could make for Cyborg and Dana White suggested Holm is interested. Holm’s coach, Mike Winkeljohn, however, doesn’t seem as ecstatic.
In an interview with the media, Winkeljohn said he’s more willing to go for the Jon Jones vs Brock Lesnar fight as opposed to Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm due to Cyborg’s past steroid-usage. Winkeljohn suggested for Cyborg to sit out one whole year to ensure she is “clean”.
While Cyborg has not tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) since she was busted six years ago, she still carries the sullied reputation of being a “cheater”.
Her dominance has not helped assuage those claims.
“She’s a great fighter and she’s a bigger girl just like me. She’s already at 145. I think it’s a fight that all fans are going to like.”
While Holm is usually the “anytime anywhere” type of fighter, she heeds her camp’s advice regarding matters like these. Holm is a big fighter as Cyborg mentioned. At 5’8″, Holm is the same height as Cyborg but holds a two-inch reach advantage with a 70-inch reach. Holm previously fought for the inaugural featherweight title but was unsuccessful. She was on a three-fight losing skid but recently knocked out Bethe Correia to get back in the winning column.
A fight between Cyborg and Holm will be a contest between two contrasting striking styles. Cyborg’s smashmouth style will be opposite to Holm’s methodical defensive kickboxing approach. Cyborg hasn’t really been tested in her recent fights. Her bouts are more of a one-sided beatdown but against Holm, Cyborg will find plenty of challenge thanks to Holm’s wealth of boxing experience as well as having MMA’s best gameplanners: Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
Cyborg’s Other Potential Opponents
Beyond Holm, there aren’t many other recognizable fighters in the division. Cyborg is the draw so it doesn’t matter as much if she fights a relative unknown.
Among the top contenders is her original opponent, Megan Anderson. The Australian is the Invicta Featherweight Champion and it would be a “champion vs champion” fight. Anderson is also bigger than Cyborg standing at 6 feet with a 77.5-inch reach. Anderson is on a four-fight win streak all coming via TKO. If she’s recovered from injury, she could be next.
Top notch female featherweights are hard to find and rival promotion already signed a good chunk of them. Felicia Spencer is a new prospect signed to Invicta FC. At 3-0, with her last win coming via submission, she could get a call to fight Cyborg. It’s a bit early for the inexperienced Canadian but the barren division offers little competition.
Outside natural featherweights, a few bantamweights can step up in weight.
Among them, former bantamweight title challenger is Cat Zingano. Zingano is on a two-fight skid at bantamweight but is about the same size as Cyborg and has the physical attributes to give Cyborg a fight. Zingano has kept a low profile since her loss to Pena but she may not pass up a big opportunity to fight the new face of women’s MMA.
Former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie infamously refused to fight Cyborg but her next opponent, Marion Reneau might take that shot. Like Zingano, the “Belizean Bruiser” also has the physical tools to put up a fight.
Betting on Cyborg and Women’s MMA
It seemed like just yesterday when Ronda Rousey put women’s MMA on the map. Now, she’s just about retired and controversial Cyborg has replaced her as the biggest female fighter. While the divisions have plenty of talent, Cyborg is the draw and she’ll be bringing the money.
If Rousey can lose, so can Cyborg. No one stays invincible forever.
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