ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
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Amy Kaplan

Cris "Cyborg" Justino is the current Invicta featherweight champion, so when she made her transition to the Octagon many assumed she'd still be fighting at 145.

That hasn't been the case so far. Her UFC debut against Leslie Smith was contested at a catchweight of 140 lbs. Her next bout at UFC Fight Night Brasilia will likewise be at this catchweight.

According to Cyborg, this is because Lina Lansberg was unwilling to face her at her natural weight.

"Lina is a tough girl but there is a reason why she would not accept the fight at 145 pounds," Cyborg told "Her last win in MMA was at 145 pounds, but she is not confident in her strength to deal with me at that weight."

Lansberg will be making her UFC debut at this event. Her previous bout, a TKO victory, took place in March 2016 at Odense Fight Night 5 in Denmark.

Cyborg is easily one of the most dominant female fighters in MMA. She has gone undefeated for over a decade, and was named the #1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the sport by ESPN.

Many had hoped that after her quick defeat of Leslie Smith at UFC 198, a women's featherweight division might be established, but it looks like that's on the back burner for now.

"I think if I am going to continue fighting at 140 pounds [Lansberg] is the next step," Cyborg said. "Leslie Smith is a good Muay Thai fighter and a tough veteran of WMMA but Lina will offer a different look and give my coaching team an opportunity to continue the evaluation of how my body is reacting to the additional weight I’m losing to get under 145 pounds. She is a striker and a matchup with her at 140 pounds will be an opportunity to show the added hand speed my boxing has at this lighter weight."

Lansberg has been vocal about the upcoming bout saying that she'll make Cyborg bleed.

"A cut wouldn't stop the fight," Cyborg said, laughing. "It would make it more exciting, like the Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor fight. I want to make a great fight for my fans and show them a back and forth display of heart and technique."

Cyborg faces Lansberg in her first ever UFC main event when she returns to Brazil on Sept. 24.

"It was another great experience in a long career of important fights," she said, referring to her last fight which also took place in Brazil. "It actually felt amazing being back in Brazil to fight. I felt very focused with all of my friends and family around to support me."

Cyborg is set to debut a documentary on her journey to the UFC. The documentary will be available to watch for free on YouTube soon.


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