Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is not just one of the most feared strikers in the history of Women’s MMA, she’s also now a BJJ black belt as well. She’s never been a slouch on the ground and has actually spent the last 8 years of her competitive career as a brown belt, only recently being awarded the final belt promotion courtesy of her legendary BJJ competitor, Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles. She announced the promotion on her official Instagram account less than a fortnight after her first ever professional MMA victory by submission, as she caught Arlene Blencowe with a Rear Naked Choke at Bellator 249.
It’s surprising that someone could go through twenty-six professional fights without a single submission victory, but considering that Cyborg has relied heavily on her brutal striking efficiency to beat her opponent’s senseless, it’s a little more understandable. She’s won eighteen of her twenty-three professional wins by knockout and it’s not often that women can last past the first round against her, which is how she’s managed to win and defend almost every major MMA title available in the women’s Featherweight division. After losing her first professional fight, she went on a historic twenty fight streak that saw her win and defend the Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC Featherweight titles, until Amanda Nunes became first woman to stop her in recent memory.
Since her UFC contract ended, she’s made waves at Bellator by immediately winning their Featherweight title and the submission victory over Blencowe marked her first title-defense. As the newly-minted BJJ black belt approaches her late-thirties, the clock is ticking on her career but one thing is for sure, Cyborg will forever be known as one of the greatest fighters in women’s MMA history.
8 years as a brown belt in BJJ and today I received the honor and privilege to call myself a @CobrinhaCharles Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. 🙏 thank you to all the coaches who’ve helped me evolve from an athlete into a martial artist pic.twitter.com/ScP1mdSdDY
— @CrisCyborg on Youtube (@criscyborg) October 24, 2020