You don’t get a nickname like “Cyborg” for being like every other human on the planet.
That’s why the moniker fits Cristiane Justino so well, as the fearsome striker has made fighting in mixed martial arts (MMA) look rather easy, leaving behind a trail of destruction on her way to the top, all while barely breaking a sweat.
At the end of the day, however, she bleeds like every one else, and that’s just what Megan Anderson is out to prove when she finally gets her wish to face the Brazilian at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California.
“She’s human like everybody else,” Anderson told the Fight Society podcast (via FOX Sports). “I think a lot of people go into that fight fighting Cyborg the name and they’ve already lost before they’ve got into the cage. I don’t give a [expletive] about how many followers she has. I don’t give a [expletive] about how much reach she has. She’s a human being and I have no doubt come July 29 everyone who’s doubting me will find out how human Cris Cyborg can really be.”
Justino hasn’t shown human-like flaws inside the combat cage, as she hasn’t tasted defeat — or come close to doing so — in over 12 years. Anderson has proven to be a formidable champion herself, winning eight of her last nine while claiming the Invicta FC interim featherweight title.
Anderson’s UFC championship bout — which will mark her Octagon debut — came to be after former champion Germaine de Randamie refused to face Cyborg due to her past history with failed drug tests. As a result, the promotion stripped “Iron Lady” of her title.
For Megan, the decision was a just one, as she feels all champions must defend their titles against whoever is in front of them, tainted past be damned.
“I think she really held up the division,” Anderson said. “I really don’t consider Germaine a natural featherweight and she knew she was going to have to give up a lot of size going up against legitimate featherweights.”
“I think she didn’t want to come up against someone who’s going to have a lot of size advantage over her. I understand her reasoning behind [not taking the fight] but the rules aren’t what she’s wanting them to be. So you have to fight the top contenders regardless whether six years ago Cris had [tested positive] for performance enhancing drugs or not. She doesn’t get the choice. You’re the champion, you fight the No. 1 contender.”
And while it’s great that a new champion will be crowned this summer, it will still leave UFC with plenty of problems, as there aren’t a lot of 145-pound women on the roster to keep the division busy, especially since the former champ is going back down to 135 pounds.
Maybe UFC should think about re-adjusting this a bit.