Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender Cris Cyborg faced off with newcomer Lina Lansberg in a catchweight bout last night (Sept. 24, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 95 inside Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil.
After all the hubbub surrounding Cyborg’s weight cutting, the Brazilian made weight a couple days ago. That said, the real test came in actually fighting after draining so much of herself, and Cyborg intended to pass that test without leaving any doubts to her ability.
On the other hand, Lansberg came into this fight as something of an enigma. Simultaneously both the veteran and new kid on the block, lots of questions about "The Elbow Princess" and the potential threat she posed to Cyborg were answered last night.
Just about 15 seconds into this bout, I was extremely confused by Cyborg’s strategy. After throwing and landing a few of her powerful right hands, Cyborg drove into the clinch and forced her opponent into the fence.
To her credit, Cyborg completely controlled her opponent from that position, landing a mix of small strikes close and heavy punches when she separated. She also landed a takedown and did some damaging work from top position.
Despite the odd choice of strategy, Cyborg utterly dominated the opening round.
Cyborg landed a brutal flurry to start the second round before pushing into the clinch again. This time, she didn’t waste time in changing levels for the takedown.
From top position, Cyborg was far more active and effective with her ground strikes this time around. Maintaining good posture, Cyborg brutalized her opponent from inside the guard. Once she passed into knee-on-the-belly, it was pretty clear that the fight was over.
It’s weird to say this about a completely one-sided performance, but Cyborg really won this bout in spite of her strategy. Lansberg’s only path to victory was to survive early on, take some damage, and rally late when Cyborg began to slow down.
With that in mind, the clinch is the absolute last place Cyborg should’ve taken the fight. Each time she threw punches and kicks from the outside, she absolutely smashed her opponent in a major way. Had she chosen to remain at that distance and keep brutalizing her opponent, the fight likely would’ve been over far quicker.
Instead, Cyborg spent a lot of time working in the clinch, which is incredibly draining and a difficult range to end the fight. Luckily, Cyborg’s powerful wrestling allowed her to drag the fight to the mat, and that’s another area where Cyborg is simply dominant.
Moving forward, it’s unclear who Cyborg will face off with next. Hopefully, her and Ronda Rousey will square off at some point in the future.
As for Lansberg, she showed a ton of heart and grit in this bout. She did her best to hang tough in the face of serious damage, but she was ultimately overwhelmed by her opponent by the second round.
Lansberg simply doesn’t have the athleticism or power to earn Cyborg’s respect. Cyborg was able to walk her down and throw power punches without much fear of her opponent’s game, and that caused Lansberg to eat a ton of devastating shots.
Additionally, Lansberg’s bottom game likely needs a bit of work still. Either way, she’s still a promising addition to Bantamweight division, as she’s fought at that weight class before.
Last night, Cris Cyborg continued her streak of dominating opponents and finishing them via knockout. What is next for the Brazilian bruiser?
For complete UFC Fight Night 95: "Cyborg vs Lansberg" fight results and play-by-play, click HERE!