Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Cris Cyborg Would Prefer For Her Next Fight To Be In Boxing

Cris Cyborg is looking for new challenges after turning in her fourth consecutive Bellator featherweight title defense.

Capping off what was an action-packed weekend in combat sports, Cris Cyborg closed out Bellator 279 with a unanimous-decision victory over Arlene Blencowe in the main event. This marked the second victory for Cyborg over Blencowe, which speaks to how she has nearly cleaned out the division at this point.

Considering her total dominance in Bellator’s featherweight division, Cyborg has now decided that she would like to look elsewhere for new challenges. And by “elsewhere,” that isn’t in reference to a new top contender, another MMA promotion, or another weight class. No, how’s about another sport altogether?

Speaking in her Bellator 279 post-fight presser, Cyborg expressed interest in her next fight taking place inside the boxing ring.

“For me, my next fight I’d like to do a boxing fight,” Cyborg said. “This is one of my dreams. And maybe it’s gonna be the next one.”

When asked if there has been any actual traction in bringing this crossover to fruition, the dominant champ confirmed that her manager is well aware of her preference and has likely acted on it.

“Yes, I’ve been talking to my manager about it, and he’s probably been talking to Bellator,” Cyborg responded.

Two Big Names Happy To Welcome Cyborg To Boxing

This is not the first time Cyborg has mentioned boxing. As far back as 2020, Cyborg discussed possibly venturing into either pro wrestling or boxing. Later that same year, Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed that boxing promoters had expressed interest in working with Cyborg in some capacity.

As far as potential opponents go, two big names have uttered Cyborg’s name when discussing potential superfights. One woman, Katie Taylor, will be competing next weekend in a highly anticipated bout against Amanda Serrano. Just last December, she stated she would be open to a crossover bout against Cyborg or Holly Holm.

Additionally, while there has been speculation of a possible Cyborg/Kayla Harrison cross-promotional fight featuring Bellator vs. PFL, there is another PFL-signed athlete who has said she’d be open to fighting Cyborg, that being none other than Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields.

Claressa Shields December
Claressa Shields, Image Credit: AP

In fact, now that Shields also competes in MMA, she said she’d even be willing to fight Cyborg in either boxing or MMA. Suffice it to say, if this were to happen, the odds will probably match from fight to fight—but with a different fighter being a massive favorite depending on the sport.

In any event, Cyborg did not share any specific names she would like to box. Therefore, she may opt to go a more conservative if not “realistic” route for her boxing debut and face someone with lesser experience and accolades than the aforementioned two names.

Still, Cyborg has proven to have some of the best striking in WMMA, and that skill has no doubt contributed largely to her 20 career wins via KO.

But what if she does continue to compete in MMA instead of boxing for her next fight? Who would be next? The champion will leave that up to the Bellator brass and, depending on the opponent, the brass of other promotions as well.

“I don’t know who’s gonna be next, who Bellator will put in front of me,” Cyborg said. “I don’t know. People calling me (out)—Cat Zingano, (people) asking me about Amanda Nunes, Kayla Harrison—I like to do big shows for my fans and enjoy every time I step in the (cage).”

How do you think Cris Cyborg would fare in boxing?

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