Cris Cyborg knows she will go down as one of the greats but at Bellator 238 she can cement her legacy even more.
In the main event, Cyborg is making her Bellator debut and taking on Julia Budd for the featherweight title. Should she win, she would become the first person to win belts in Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC, and Bellator. Or, as Cyborg calls it, a “Grand Slam Champion.”
“To me holding all four of those belts would be something special,” Cyborg told BJPENN.com. “It would signify the entire eras of my career. There was a time when Strikeforce was the biggest place for WMMA. Scott Coker built stars like myself, Ronda [Rousey], Miesha [Tate], Amanda Nunes, and GDR [Germaine de Randamie]. Once Strikeforce was closed, Invicta became the premier organization for women. They had stars like Michelle Waterson, Paige VanZant, Claudia Gadelha, Aspen Ladd and Rose Namajunas making a new generation of talent.
“I never imagined I would fight in the UFC,” Cyborg added. “When they finally made the featherweight division and I earned my shot at their world title after two incredibly difficult cuts to 140 pounds, it felt like I had overcome the impossible of making the division for all the women who are going to want to safely compete in the future without extreme weight cutting. With Bellator, I see them as having the only true featherweight division in the sport. Besides Julia Budd, they have Arlene Blencowe, Cat Zingano, Sinead Kavanagh and several other female fighters ranked in the top 10 in the world at 145 pounds. I want to make history as the only Grand Slam Champion in MMA.”
If Cris Cyborg can do so, she would go down as one of the best MMA fighters ever, regardless of gender. Yet she knows her legacy is set even if she comes up short against Budd. Now, it is about putting on fights that entertain her fans.
“I think my legacy is established. My fans are wanting to see me fight. I am motivated to fight,” she explained. “I have made a lot of history in my career. And, would love to keep turning my dreams into my memories and giving fans fights that entertain them.”
Where do you think Cris Cyborg would rank among the GOATs of MMA if she becomes a so-called Grand Slam Champion?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/23/2020.