With more than a decade of fighting under her belt (never mind taking down 15 of her last 16 opponents), Cris Cyborg has very possibly earned the title of "most feared" in the sport of women's MMA.
Now Cyborg is in the UFC, which means that she's finally in the running to take on some of the sport's biggest names.
In a recent interview on the Three Amigos Podcast, Cyborg unsurprisingly had a lot to say about former UFC women's bantamweight champions Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, both whom have reportedly turned down fights with her:
You know, you can't push a fighter into a fight, it's better for them to compete because they want to challenge themselves. I like to challenge myself. I'm an MMA world champ, but I fought the Muay Thai world champ because I like to challenge myself. Maybe I'll lose, maybe I'll win, but I'll be getting better.
She also added what she would like to happen when Rousey makes her glorious return to the Octagon:
I think when Ronda comes back to fight, all of the fans want to watch me fight her. She has talked about me in the past, she has pushed the idea of this fight, but after that said I had to make 135lbs to fight her, because she knew it was impossible for me. Now I'm in a 140lbs catchweight division, so if she wants to challenge herself and not just talk, we can make the fight happen.
As for Holm and Holm passing on fighting Cyborg because she wants a shot at reclaiming her title:
I respect Holly Holm. She's a great fighter and she has had big changes in her life now. She's a good person. Miesha Tate is a good person too. I'm here to fight anyone, but fighters either want to challenge themselves or not, and I can't change that. I can only control myself and challenge myself, so I just have to focus on May 14th, making 140lbs and fighting Leslie Smith.
Finally, Cyborg addressed her reputation in and out of the ring, stating that she's not the same person when she's fighting:
Some people meet me and are like, ‘Oh! You're actually really nice!' It's like, man, did you think I wasn't? I am nice. I have to be mean and aggressive when I fight, because that's my job, it's how I put food on my table. Outside of the cage I'm a normal person, I have a house and a family. Some people don't realize there's a difference, but I think people are learning, I hope they learn.
Cyborg will make her UFC debut at UFC 198, taking on Leslie Smith in a catchweight bout.