On Saturday night, in the main event of the stacked UFC 219, UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will attempt to defend her strap against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
At present, the featherweight champ is undergoing her cut down to the fight’s 145-pound limit. While she has endured some brutal cuts in the past, she assured BJPenn.com’s Tom Taylor that her weight cut is right on track for this contest.
“We are right on schedule with the weight cut,” she said. “For this camp we started using the Better Human app to track progress and brought back Rob Emerson as nutrition coach.”
Cyborg also addressed recent comments from Holm’s striking coach Mike Winkeljohn, who predicted that Holm will win the fight by stoppage.
“[Winkeljohn] can say whatever he wants but he won’t be able to fight for Holly,” she said.
So, how does Cyborg envision this fight going? Well, she’s prepared for just about anything. She also promises to dial-back her trademark aggression, and remain measured and patient in the face of Holm’s frustrating brand of counter-striking.
“I have trained for 6 rounds,” she said. “I am the champion, and if Holly Holm wants to win the belt she will have to come and take it. She can’t take my belt in a fight by running. I am going to be patient and look for my opportunities. I can beat her with my wrestling, my BJJ, or my striking. I have many ways to get the victory and I will be patient.”
If Cris Cyborg defeats Holly Holm, she will unfortunately be short on viable challengers, as the UFC women’s featherweight division is infamous for its sparse population. That said, she does see one compelling option on the horizon.
“I will let my team sit down after the fight and decide, but I owe Megan Anderson a fight. It has been almost a year since she won the [Invicta] belt I vacated and after fighting Holly I want to face an established 145 pounder from the division.”
While this fight is clearly at the forefront of Cyborg’s focus, it is not the only thing on her mind. Amid her preparations for this challenge, she has also been doing some fantastic charity work for the Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas. A significant part of this initiative is an awesome Teddy Bear Drive, which encourages UFC fans to bring a new teddy bear to Thursday’s UFC 219 open workouts. These bears will be donated to the children at the hospital.
To get a deeper look into Cris Cyborg’s life leading up to UFC 219, check out episode one of her must-see #CYBORGNATION video blog series below.
Do you think Cris Cyborg will retain her title at UFC 219?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 27/12/2017.