Cris Cyborg is no longer a free agent.
The Brazilian wrecking ball, billed as the “Grand Slam Champion of MMA” for her title wins in Strikeforce, UFC, Invicta FC, and Bellator MMA, recently re-signed with Scott Coker and Co. to continue her historic run under the Bellator MMA banner.
“After receiving multiple offers from several promotions I’m very happy that I was able to come to terms with Bellator and remain the face of their women’s featherweight division,” Cyborg said in today’s release. “Scott Coker is a promoter that I’ve worked with and respected for many years. He’s done so much to further women’s MMA and give us a platform to showcase our skills. When making this decision, it was important to me that I was signing with the organization that I felt had the biggest names and the top talent at 145 pounds for me to challenge myself against. There is no question that all the top female featherweights are signed with Bellator and I can’t wait to get back in there and defend my belt.”
Coker subsequently challenged all available free agents to come and test themselves against the reigning featherweight champion; however, Cyborg is expected to first face off against fellow UFC veteran Cat Zingano, or perhaps Sara McMann, at some point later this year.
Not surprisingly, Kayla Harrison’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, was not impressed.
Cyborg never wanted to fight @KaylaH— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 4, 2023
Harrison, an Olympic gold medalist who currently fights for Professional Fighters League (PFL), has been engaged in a back-and-forth war of words with Cyborg over the last several years. Unfortunately, Harrison suffered the first defeat of her professional MMA career when she was bested by Brazilian bruiser Larissa Pacheco in the PFL 2022 finals late last year, which may have taken some of the shine off a potential Cyborg fight.
Cyborg, real name Cristiane Justino, turns 38 in July and is looking to build on her six-fight win streak dating back to Dec. 2018, which doesn’t include her two recent victories on the boxing circuit. As of this writing, the promotion has not confirmed Cyborg’s return date but you can expect that announcement sooner, rather than later.