Invicta FC featherweight champion Cristiane Justino will finally make her Octagon debut, but it's going to cost her five pounds. That's because Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) does not have a 145-pound weight class (yet), but Leslie Smith was willing to meet her halfway.
And "The Peacemaker" may have a chance to capitalize on her opponent's disadvantage at UFC 198 in Brazil.
That's because "Cyborg" will "suffer" on her way down to the new weight (cheat meals will do that to you), which could leave her combat ineffective on Saturday night (May 14, 2016). She could lose some of her strength, run out of gas, or both, which would pave the way for a monumental upset.
Justino doesn't sound overly concerned, based on her conversation with Combate (via Bloody Elbow).
"Actually, even cutting to 145 is really hard for me. I already suffer. But I had four fights in 13 months, so I didn't put on too much weight. So, in theory, I'm doing as expected. I believe it'll be the same suffering to make weight for the catchweight as it is to make featherweight, even though I'm a little lighter. I'm confident, though. I know it won't be easy, because it's always a war. My real weight class is lightweight, but it doesn't exist. So I think making 140 won't be easy, but it never is. Whenever something comes too easy, you must suspect. Making weight is a huge responsibility. Not only that, but I'll have to put on a good fight, too. People ask me if I'm going to keep fighting at this weight class. I will only know once the fight is over. I think making 140 is one goal, being the same Cyborg I am at 145 is a different goal. But I feel well, confident and faster. I think things have improved with the weight drop. I'll have more answers after this fight. Whether or not I'll remain here or I'll drop to bantamweight."
See if she makes it here.
If Justino can hit the 140 mark and perform at the same level she's accustomed to -- or perhaps even better -- then expect those talks of a Ronda Rousey super fight to start heating up. "Rowdy" no longer hods the bantamweight belt and previously competed at 145 pounds.
The next few days are going to be very, very interesting for this division.