After years of campaigning for a shot, Cris “Cyborg” Justino finally made her UFC debut on Saturday night (May 14) at UFC 198.
Fighting in front of a hometown crowd in Curitiba, Brazil, the 30-year-old MMA star made quick work of her opponent Leslie Smith, earning a TKO at the 1:21 mark of the opening round.
After slipping Smith’s jabs, Cyborg rocked her with hard right hands and leg kicks and sent her to the mat, before finishing her with strikes on the ground.
With the KO, Justino improves to 16-1 and earned her sixth consecutive win. Of those, 14 were via knockout and eight were in the first round.
She holds the 145-pound championship in all-female promotion Invicta FC, and is considered one of, if not the best female fighters in the world. However, until Saturday, she never stepped into the UFC’s Octagon, because they do not have a 145-pound weight division.
After this weekend’s win, Justino said she’s open to returning to Invicta to defend her title or signing another 140-pound catchweight in the UFC — because she’s said it may be too difficult for her to cut to 135 pounds, the heaviest female division in the UFC.