Cris “Cyborg” Justino wasn’t going to let anyone spoil her moment of glory following her UFC debut victory.
Justino defeated American Leslie Smith early in the first round of UFC 198 in her hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, on Saturday night, and was too busy celebrating to be concerned about trash talking Ronda Rousey.
“I believe it was my moment. Tonight was my moment, it was historic,” Justino said in her post-fight media conference. “I never thought I’d be sitting here tonight. I never thought I’d be here after everything I went through and it’s a historic moment for me. Talking about her is something that people are going to talk about, but I let my fans decide on who my opponent will be and I just have to be ready.”
Justino was long considered the only woman in MMA who had a chance to beat Rousey. That was before Rousey was knocked out by Holly Holm.
Cyborg and “Rowdy” Rousey have been feuding since 2012. Rousey has said she has no desire to gain weight to fight in Justino’s weight class, claiming Justino could make UFC’s 135-pound division if she wasn’t “pumped full of steroids.” Justino threatened legal action after Rousey’s comments. Rousey might have been referring a positive test for anabolic steroids in 2012 that cost Justino her Strikeforce featherweight title.
Nonetheless, Justino has stayed clean since her suspension and remains focused on her own weight class.
“I’ve been training for two years to be able to make weight yesterday. And I felt very well tonight and I believe I can do other super fights, but I’m going to continue my weight class,” Justino said. “I’ve been the champion for some time and I want female MMA to grow, and I don’t think it’s the right thing for me to abandon my weight class.”
It could be a while until Cyborg and Rousey square off in the Octagon.