Cris Cyborg has conquered several combat sports in her nearly 20-year career. In mixed martial arts, the Brazilian won championships in a plethora of premiere promotions such as the UFC, Bellator, Invicta FC and the now-defunct Strikeforce. In boxing, she improved to 2-0 with wins against Simone Silva and Gabrielle Holloway. In submission grappling, she was a two-time IBJJF World Champion.
One combat sport she has yet to conquer, though, is bare-knuckle boxing—and Cyborg wants to change that. After watching the most recent pay-per-view offering from Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) this past Saturday, the 37-year-old expressed interest in a potential move.
“Okay after watching that fight [at BKFC 41], maybe I need one [bare-knuckle boxing] fight before I retire!,” tweeted Cyborg.
Cris Cyborg says bare-knuckle boxing would be ‘fun’
During a recent episode of The Catch Up with James Lynch on YouTube, Cyborg reiterated her interest in bare-knuckle boxing. Should BKFC come to her with an offer, she already has an idea of who she wants help from ahead of her potential debut: Mike Perry.
Perry improved to 3-0 under the BKFC banner at BKFC 41, where he finished ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold via second-round TKO.
“I think it would be fun,” said Cyborg. “People know me because I like to finish my fights by punches. I know it’s different, a little bit, but it’s a lot about pressure. Maybe, you know? I did boxing, I did Muay Thai. If the financial is there, maybe. I love the challenge, I love training, maybe I could train with Mike Perry to learn a couple of things. Come up with a strategy.
“It something different,” continued Cyborg. “I don’t know, it’s different, but for sure. Why not? [I] finish my career doing everything, finish it right!”
Cris Cyborg currently reigns as Bellator champion
Cris Cyborg is the reigning Bellator featherweight champion. In her most recent defense, she defeated Arlene Blencowe via unanimous decision at Bellator 279 a year ago. That was the final fight on her current contract, but Cyborg did hint at re-signing with the promotion after negotiating with Bellator president Scott Coker.
Coker provided an update on negotiations with Cyborg, which are still ongoing as of this past March.
“We’re still in dialogue with Cris,” said Coker at a post-fight press conference for Bellator 292 (video provided by MMA Junkie). “We respect her. We think that she is, to me, the GOAT in the female division. She fought here [in San Jose], [in] 2009, against Gina Carano in the very first female MMA fight on national TV to be the main event. She’s a lot of historical things and had great success, a great career. So I wouldn’t count that out.
“We’ll make decisions [about the featherweight division] based on what happens,” continued Coker. “We still have some contractual rights [to Cyborg] until August, so let’s see how it plays out. We’re going to engage with her [this] week, start talking – what we want to do. But I still think we’re in a very good position with her. I think she loves being here. I think we have a very good working relationship. We’ve been working together since 2009, or 2008 maybe. I wouldn’t count it out yet.”
Should Cyborg re-sign with Bellator, a new challenger awaits. Fellow former UFC fighter Sara McMann was successful in her Bellator debut, defeating Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 294 in April.
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