UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will battle arguably her toughest opponent to date when UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes moves up in weight to challenge her in the co-main event of UFC 232 on December 29.
Cyborg has been the UFC’s featherweight champion since 2017 and hasn’t lost since her very first pro fight in 2005. She has been a seemingly unstoppable force for more than a decade, but many fans believe Nunes could be the woman to finally defeat her.
However, Cyborg doesn’t share that opinion.
“Amanda has lost four fights before and each of those girls has shown a way to victory,” Cyborg told BJPENN.com. “I have worked hard in the gym and my coaches have put together a great game plan heading into the fight. Fans know my style, I am always looking for the knockout.”
The featherweight champion has been working hard for this fight. Cyborg has said she agreed to this fight in the summer, and in September too, but Nunes delayed it until December. With this extra time, Cyborg has been able to have a longer training camp which she believes will be to her benefit in the end.
“It has been a great camp,” she said. “We have brought in a couple of girls who have fought Nunes. I have gone to train at CSA in addition to my usual coaches of Cobrinha (Rubens Charles Maciel) and Jason Parillo. This camp we brought back Don Madge and added in Kenny Johnson for my wrestling as well. I feel confident that I’m well prepared.”
Both Cyborg and Nunes like to pressure their opponents, and both have proven knockout power. Yet Cyborg says she will not allow herself to be pressured by Nunes. Instead, she plans to overwhelm Nunes with her own pressure and conditioning.
“I will fight my style, I will not wait for her and I will be the pressure,” Cyborg said. “I have spent a lot of time focusing on my cardio. This fight is five rounds of five minutes and I will have the cardio to use the gas whenever I need to.”
The fight is just nine days away and with a win, Cyborg could cement herself as the greatest female fighter of all time. Yet she’s not worried about being considered the best ever. She says that’s up to the fans.
“I’ll let the fans decide who is the greatest of all time,” she said.
While Cyborg is focused on her looming fight with Nunes, there’s been much discussion about her future in the UFC. It has been well-documented that Cyborg would like to become a pro boxer in the future, and with limited challenges available in the UFC’s women’s featherweight division, many have wondered if Cyborg could soon leave the Octagon behind.
Whatever the future holds, Cyborg doesn’t plan on leaving MMA anytime soon.
“I will have one remaining fight on my UFC contract and will sit with my management to discuss my future after the Nunes fight. I don’t have any plans of leaving MMA entirely,” Cyborg noted. “It has always been a dream of mine to have a professional boxing fight. If that opportunity presents itself I am ready for the challenge. Right now my focus is on December 29th and Amanda Nunes.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/20/2018.