By Mark Elezaj(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)
Bellator President, Scott Coker, announced Tuesday that Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Justino, who was recently released from the UFC a few days after defeating Felicia Spencer at UFC 240 in July, has signed with Bellator for the “biggest contract in women’s MMA history.”
This will be the second time Cyborg has fought for Coker, who ran Strikeforce while she was the featherweight champion Back in 2009.
“I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” Coker said. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again.”
‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator,” Coker continued. “Champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival.”
Coker hopes that Cyborg’s promotional debut with Bellator will be a title shot against current featherweight champ Julia Budd.
“(Cyborg) definitely deserves it,” Coker told MMA Junkie.
Coker says that he hasn’t worked out any specific plans with Cyborg (21-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) or Budd (13-2 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) just yet, but he does plan on meeting with Cyborg this weekend when Bellator 226 takes place in San Jose, California to discuss her future fights.
Coker also stated that Bellator has at least four potential opponents for Cyborg.
He mentioned that contract negotiations are currently underway with Cat Zingano, who was also recently released by the UFC.
Coker said her time with Bellator will be much more productive than her time with the UFC.
“We’re going to keep her much more active, and two, they’re not in the 145-pound weight class business, and we are,” he said.
“So to me, it’s something I think that we’ve been growing this weight class for the last two, three years, and Cyborg is a great addition to it.
“She will have girls in her weight class to fight, whereas in the UFC, I think it was like, let’s see who we can sign to fight her for a one-off, or make people move up to fight her from a different weight class. But the commitment was never to start a 145-pound weight class – it was always somebody just to fight her. I think that’s the difference. We’ll do this one right.”
After the announcement of Cyborg signing with Bellator, she released a video message to her followers via Facebook.
“My goal is to become the only female fighter to hold four different major titles in the same division,” she said.
Cyborg has already held the women’s featherweight title in the UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC.
~ The Fighting Voice ~