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Cris Cyborg - Female MMA Fighter

Updated on January 22, 2017

Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino - Female MMA

Female mixed martial arts fighter Cristiane Santos was born Cristiane Justino on July 9, 1985 in Brazil.

Cris is five feet eight inches tall, weighs 144 pounds, and back when I wrote this originally, I really didn't see anyone stopping her.

And "one" did stop her.

If you want to get some idea of how dominant "The Cyborg" was in female MMA, think about Mike Tyson in his heyday.

That'll give you some idea of how she was regarded.

Cris was the Strikeforce Women's Middleweight Champion, a title she won on August 15th, 2009 by defeating Gina Carano (The Face of Female MMA) via TKO at Strikeforce - Carano vs. Cyborg at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Cris fairly destroyed Gina in 4:59 in the first round.

cris cyborg-cristiane santos
cris cyborg-cristiane santos

Cris Before Fighting in MMA

Before Cris went into martial arts, she was a national level handball player in Curritiba, Brazil.

While playing handball, she was discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, a trainer at the famous Chute Boxe Academy.

Chute started out as a Muay Thai academy, but broadened it's focus to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other mixed martial arts.

The Academy has trained MMA fighters like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Silva, Mauricio Rua and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Anyway, Rudimar saw her playing and immediately realized that with her level of intensity and athleticism, she would fit right in the world of MMA.

And he was right.

cris cyborg-cristiane santos-female mma
cris cyborg-cristiane santos-female mma

Cris' Mixed Martial Art Training

Her first day in the gym at Chute Boxe Academy she met a young MMA fighter named Evangelista Santos, and in short order, Cristiane Justino became Cristiane Santos.

She began to train there, and due to the lack of females at the Academy, Cris found herself mostly training with men.

Some commentators remarked that early in her MMA career, she fought like Wanderlei Silva.

Cris made her pro MMA debut on May 17th, 2005 at SF - Showfight 2 at the DirecTV Music Hall, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

She didn't get her fairy tale beginning though as she lost to Erica Paes via submission.

That was the last time the Cyborg would taste defeat.

Her next fight was against Vanessa Porto at SS 9 - Storm Samurai 9 on November 20th, 2005 in Curitiba, Brazil.

This time Cris took the win by decision after three rounds.

And that was almost the last time that Cris would win by a decision.

cris cyborg-cristiane santos
cris cyborg-cristiane santos

"The Cyborg" Starts to take Form

The Cyborg began to build up her rep as she took on Chris Schroeder at the next Storm Samurai event, SS 10 - Storm Samurai 10 on January 28th, 2006.

This time Cris scored a TKO (via punches) in the very first round.

At SS 11 - Storm Samurai 11 on May 21, 2006, Cris pounded Elaine Santiago so badly that her corner stopped it at 2:46 in the first round.

Then at SS 12 - Storm Samurai 12 on November 25, 2006, Cris scored another TKO victory over Marise Vitoria at 1:27 of the first round via stomps.


The Cyborg makes a name for herself

Then Cris came to the US, and at EliteXC - Unfinished Business on July 26th, 2008 she took out a very capable Shayna Baszler via (TKO, punches) at 2:48 of the second round.

At EliteXC - Heat on October 4th, 2008, Cris won her other decision victory over Yoko Takahashi.

Kudos to Yoko for staying alive.

Cris then took out Hitomi Akano at Strikeforce - Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11th, 2009 at :35 in the third round.

gina carano-cris cyborg
gina carano-cris cyborg

Strikeforce - Carano vs. Cyborg

Then came the Strikeforce - Carano vs. Cyborg match up, where Cris destroyed Gina Carano in 4:59 seconds of the first round, and became the Strikeforce Women's Middleweight Champion.

This was a very big match, because it was the first time that women had headlined a MMA event.

After that victory, Cris took on another skilled opponent, Marloes Coenen at Strikeforce - Miami on January 30th, 2010.

Cris stopped her at 3:40 of the third round with punches.

The Cyborg continued on and took out Jan Finney at Strikeforce / M-1 Global - Fedor vs. Werdum on June 26th, 2010 in 2:56 of the second round with a knockout knee to the body.

Update: Cris in the WWE? is reporting that Cris may be in negotiations with ...the WWE?

"Strikeforce champion and best pound for pound MMA fighter of the world, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is negotiating with world's biggest pro-wrestling company, WWE, sources close to the fighter told TATAME minutes ago"

Can this really be?

Can the most dominant force in female MMA be thinking about climbing into the ring?

Well, Ken Shamrock did it for awhile.

I am VERY leary of this...but they could give her an unbeaten streak like they did Goldberg or have her squash opponents like Lesnar and Umaga (may he rest in peace).

I can't say I like this idea at all.

BUT, she has to make money somehow and the MMA fights are few and far between.

UPDATE: It appears the rumor was unfounded.

Thank goodness.

A Hurricane of Aggression - Cris Cyborg

This video pretty much sums Cris up to a T.

Strikeforce: Gina Carano vs. Cristiane Santos

When Cris took Gina down.

The Cyborg Continues

Cris continues her dominance of female MMA.

On December 17th, 2011 in San Diego, California at Strikeforce - Melendez vs. Masvidal, Cris destroyed Hiroko Yamanaka in 16 seconds of the first round, via TKO.

Yes...16 seconds.

Going into this fight, Hiroko was 12-1-0, so she was no slouch.

At 5'11, she had a slight reach advantage on The Cyborg.

Cris hadn't fought in over a year.

It didn't do any good.

Here's the fight.....

Cris Cyborg vs. Hiroko Yamanaka

Cris 'Cyborg' Santos tests positive for anabolic steroid

The California State Athletic Commission has suspended and fined Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos because of a failed drug test.

She's been suspended for one year and fined $2,500 plus her win over Hiroko Yamanaka has been overturned to a no-contest.

I would say this is sad, but every MMA fighter KNOWS there is a drug test.

It's not a surprise.

So you are left with two choices....

Either she has no idea what supplements she is taking which is bad, or she just doesn't care, which is worse.

Cristiane and Evangelista Santos Divorced

It just seems to be getting worse and worse for Cristiane.

Cristiane announced via UOL that she and her husband Evangelista Santos divorced in December of last year after six years of marriage.

UOL Esporte (via Google Translate):

"After six years of dedication to the love and happiness of marriage, I would like to inform you that since the month of December 2011 Evangelista Cyborg and I are living our lives separately. I would like to thank all friends for their words of love and support during this period. As it may seem hard to never abandon their dreams or discredits in love!"

The Cyborg, Steroids and Ronda Rousey


Everybody seems to be jumping on Cristiane and saying that now that she is off steroids ...she'll be no good when she returns.

If she has been using steroids all this time, how has she passed all the drug tests up till the last one?

Do you mean to tell me that in eleven pro fights...the drug testers missed it in all but the last one?

Was Strikeforce involved in a massive cover-up?

Or was the last time just actually a mistake as Cristiane says?

Do people really hate the idea that she may have just been that good?

Well all of this will come to a close when Cristiane's suspension is over, and they can set up a bout with Ronda Rousey.

You can pretty well bet Cris will be totally clean and when the two face off, we will see how dominate Ronda is.

Cristiane to return as a Bantamweight?

When Cristiane "Cyborg" Venancio (this is apparently what she is going by now) comes back to Strikeforce, it will be as a bantamweight.

That will put her in the same weight class as Sarah Kaufman, Miesha Tate and ...Ronda Rousey.

So we may just get the Rousey vs Cyborg fight everyone has been clamoring for.

Larissa Reis-cris cyborg-cristiane santos
Larissa Reis-cris cyborg-cristiane santos

Cris Santos Update 7-12-2012

From the looks of her Facebook page, it appears Cris has been doing a little working out with Brazilian IFBB Professional Figure Competitor Larissa Reis.

Now that is a dynamic duo!

Cris' Facebook Page

Cristiane Santos vs Ronda Rousey - Will It Ever Happen?

The fight that almost every female mma fan wants to see, Cristiane Santos vs Ronda Rousey, is really having a hard time coming together.

Cristiane originally said that she would fight Ronda Rousey at 145 pounds, which is the weigh that Ronda originally started her MMA career at.

Cyborg added that it would not be healthy for her to slim down anymore than she already has.

But Ronda refused to take that offer, and then Cyborg countered by saying that she would drop down to 140.

Then Ronda said...

"I don’t see where she thinks she deserves to get every single thing that she wants when she’s pretty much been exposed as a fraud."

Ummmm...Ronda...Cris had 12 pro fights and failed a drug test after one.

Unless the testing procedures are all bogus and she faked 11 tests, she ain't a fraud.

Ronda's constant hemming and hawing seems to be attracting the attention of other female MMA stars like former Strikeforce title-holder Marloes Coenen who said in an interview...

"She is a great grappler. The way she took out Sarah Kaufman was amazing and so unexpected to me. But she does lack balls. She judo’d at 154 pounds, entered Strikeforce at 145 pounds and when she had to fight Cris Cyborg she dropped to 135 pounds."

You can read more about the ongoing struggle here at

Cris Cyborg In the UFC? - Maybe...Maybe Not...

gina carano-cris cyborg-female mma-female mma fighters
gina carano-cris cyborg-female mma-female mma fighters

Nam Tran over at the MMA Examiner reports that....

There was speculation that former women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos would be Rousey’s first UFC opponent, however, “Cyborg” refuses dropping down to bantamweight as she claims her body will not allow her to do so.

Full Story

Currently Cris is the Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion. has her ranked as number 2 in the Top 15 Women’s Pound-For-Pound MMA Rankings.
She fell out of #1-ranked 145-pound female fighter position because of inactivity.

Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino - MMA Women
Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino - MMA Women

Cyborg Update - 8-2-2015

Well everyone wanted to see how good she was when she was off the "juice".
Since the fight with Hiroko Yamanaka in 2011, Cris is 4-0-0.
That brings her total to 12-1-1.
Her Kickboxing record is 2-1-0.
Her Submission grappling record is 7-1-0.
So I think she is doing pretty good.

Invicta FC 15: Souza vs. Bennett

On January 16th, 2016, Cris will take on Cindy Dandois (6 - 2 - 0) at Invicta FC 15: Souza vs. Bennett.
Going into the fight, Cris is 14-1-0 (I thought it was 14-1-1 but evidently Sherdog removed that 1 NC).

In the November 2015 Unified Women’s MMA Rankings, Cris is ranked Number 1 among Featherweights (136-145 pounds)

Cris to train with Seagal?

Cris Cyborg and Aikido legend and former Hollywood star, Steven Seagal.
Cris Cyborg and Aikido legend and former Hollywood star, Steven Seagal.

UFC 198

Cyborg wins at UFC 198
Cyborg wins at UFC 198

Cris Cyborg made her UFC debut at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith at a weight of 140 pounds.
She won the fight by TKO in the first round, but a lot of fans were upset that the ref called the fight that quickly.

UFC Fight Night 95 - Cristiane Justino vs Lina Lansberg

At UFC Fight Night 95 on September 24, 2016 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil
Cristiane Justino (16-1-1) will take on Lina Lansberg (6-1-0).
Lina may be only 6 -1 -0, but her six wins were all straight in a row.
She lost her first fight and that was it.

UPDATE: Cris defeated Lina in 2:29 of the second round via TKO.

Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino - Female MMA
Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino - Female MMA

Oh crap. Here we go again....

Dana White: Cris ‘Cyborg’ doping violation explains ‘strange’ rejection of fights

Cyborg Comments - Thanks for stopping by!

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    • dcristo profile image

      dcristo 2 years ago

      Thanks this was a great writeup. I haven't watched much of Cyborg because I only follow the UFC.

    • profile image

      GMC 3 years ago

      Cyborg WILL beat Rousey. Rousey and a few other fighters that enter the ring with all of the unnecessary tough looks, slapping there face and arms shows that they have already let their opponents get in their heads in the wrong way. In fact they are truly intimated by their opponents. If Rousey beat a man, it's only because he was afraid he would hurt her and didn't want to go to jail. Majority of fighters like "The Spider", Jon Jones, Cyborg, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo, Nogueiras, Pettis, Royce Gracia,..,..etc. shows confidence. It speaks for itself. A poker face is the hardest face to read. Oh don't get me wrong, facial expressions such as (Rousey) helps or does it. Last but not least Chris Weidman has yet to beat "The Spider". "The Spider" beat himself. Playing around sticking out his chin, beat himself. Hard kick, HE broke his leg, best himself. Weidman has Not beat the "The Spider".

    • BorednBroke profile image

      BorednBroke 4 years ago

      My husband went to fight in Anaheim not last February RONDA ROUSEY vs. LIZ CARMOUCHE. It was extremely popular and was a good fight. Crazy where MMA has come and women involvement.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      We'll see how she performs when she's off the juice. I personally don't like athletes who use steroids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @GetSillyProduct: Has any woman EVER asked for a rematch?? I don't think so. The raw power and intensity that she displays is unreal. She doesn't need steroids, she is a Steroid!

    • Sabre1000 profile image

      Sabre1000 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I just hope we get to see Cris and Ronda face-off in the steel cage

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Sabre1000: good luck in your scouting, there is no one more dominating than Cyborg. She loves to inflict pain. She hits harder than most men, that Jan Finney has to be a tough cookie because she took some hellacious blows. Rousey will be a mousey in the ring. Cyborg will see how much pain she can take and see who yells "I quit" first Rousey or her corner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Chris Cyborg never tries a submission, except through her hands, knees, feet and elbows, you never see her on the mat, she is just too powerful for the women. After she whipped Gina Carano like it was her Gina's time in the octagon, then I knew Chris Cyborg was a force like no other. She will knock Rousey out then keep hitting her, then whip the ref for stopping her. Chris will not take her out fast, she will punish her, cut that pretty face all up and Rousey will give up the MMA, you just watch and see.

    • Sabre1000 profile image

      Sabre1000 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I just find it difficult to believe you can fool the drug screens 11 times.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Your saying Ronda Rousey is wrong to say Cyborg is a fraud because of the previous 11 fights she didn't get caught, but maybe the reason she didn't get caught on those occasions was because she was a step ahead because it's hard to catch cheats that know what there doing. Why else do you think one's try it.

    • Sabre1000 profile image

      Sabre1000 6 years ago

      I have to agree with you both.

      Of course now I'm preoccupied with scouting out the woman I think can take Cris out...LOL

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      She is simply unstoppable

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Cristiane Santos is a superb Mix Martial Arts fighter and after seeing the way she destroyed Gina Carano, I don't see anyone on the the horizon that could match up with such a tenacious athlete. Thanks for the videos...seeing is believing!