Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino took care of business against Tonya Evinger to win the women’s featherweight title at UFC 214.
USA TODAY Sports
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino was a spectator when the UFC’s women’s division debuted here in February 2013.
Flanked by her advisor and former UFC champ Tito Ortiz, Justino told reporters why she couldn’t fight Ronda Rousey: she was physically unable to make the cut down to bantamweight (135 pounds). More than four years later and fighting at the 145-pound featherweight division, Justino got her UFC title fight — and title — at Honda Center as she defeated Tonya Evinger via a TKO (punches) on Saturday.
“I am very happy and proud to own this belt and it will be really hard to take it away from me,” Cyborg said after the fight. “For the Cyborg Nation fans who were expecting the third belt, here it is.”
Cyborg hasn’t lost since her pro MMA debut in May 2005 and previosoly held belts in Strikeforce and Invicta FC. She secured the UFC featherweight belt that was stripped from Germaine de Randamie in May. De Randamie called Justino “a known and proven cheater” and refused to take the fight.
The bout was the UFC debut for Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) took control of the bout early, the only thing stopping the barrage of fists and kicks thrown by Justino was an eye poke by Evinger. The referee stopped the fight to check Justino’s eye. The fight resumed after the pause and Justino finished the round with a knee to Evinger’s head.
Justino continued to pick away at Evinger in the second round.
Evinger was unable to avoid the massive strikes and crumpled to the mat for a second time in the third round. Justino pounced and after she delivered a few blows, a stoppage was called at 1:56 in the third round.
“I was very calm this time, calculating the right time to throw the right punches and kicks. I respect Tonya a lot,” Justino said. “She is a hard fighter and I hope she has a chance in her division. I don’t know what comes next, but I would love to face Holly Holm. I think she was a great champion and fans would like to see us fight.”
Justino’s MMA credentials only lacked one thing…