Did all those years of pure dominance lead to Cris Cyborg’s defeat at UFC 232? That’s what many of the people who have trained with Cyborg seem to think.
The former pound for pound queen was dethroned by Amanda Nunes at the UFC’s big end of year card after the two brawled it out in the middle of the Octagon. Nunes stood in the pocket, ate some big shots from Cyborg, and returned fire, TKOing her seemingly invincible opponent in just 51 seconds.
Afterward, sparring partner and boxing great Claressa Shields told Cyborg to her face that she should have boxed Nunes strategically instead of taking a rock’em sock’em approach to the match. And now in an interview with MMA Junkie, Cyborg’s striking coach Jason Parillo agrees.
“I saw Cris go out there and beat herself,” Parillo said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I’ve said it in many interviews before, and it was always my biggest concern – which is her just going for broke, losing the plot and swinging wild. Just going back to old school Cyborg. Because I told her that the higher we climb the ladder, we’re not going to be able to get away with this style.”
”We need to think a little bit more and stay behind the jab. I know Cris. I know my fighter and saw the way she reacted to that leg kick when it hit her. Instead of moving out and staying behind her jab, she went for broke off the get-go and got caught doing it. It was very much ‘oh no you didn’t,’ and she just started swinging for the fences. Cris went straight disrespect mode, like she can walk down anybody, but she was in there with a skillful fighter who has a really good punch.”
”That’s how maybe Cris was going to get beaten,” Parillo concluded. “Against someone who has the fortitude to be able to sit in there with that aggressive style. You have to respect Amanda for that.”
And while you’d think that factor along with Cris Cyborg’s position atop the female GOAT rankings would give us enough reason for an immediate rematch, the UFC doesn’t seem to agree. Neither does Amanda Nunes, for reasons of ... spite? Cyborg wasn’t happy sitting on the bench waiting for Nunes in December. Now Nunes wants to make Cyborg wait even longer.
“She said I wanted one year to be ready for her and she didn’t want to wait that much,” Nunes said following her victory. “She don’t wanna stay without fighting but right now I’m asking for two years for the rematch.”
“I don’t think you do,” UFC president Dana White said when asked about an immediate rematch after UFC 232. “I mean, it was a pretty convincing win. I gotta get back in the lab and figure it out [what’s next for Cyborg], but we’ll come up with something for her.”
He’ll have to move fast, as Cyborg’s contract with the UFC expires in March of 2019. While things have seemed rocky between Cris and the UFC at many points, Parillo sounded pretty definite when he said something would get worked out between the two.
“We’re not going to leave the UFC,” Parillo told MMAjunkie. “We’re going to stay there, plug away and get back the title that Cris had. She has the time and ability to do it.”