When UFC featherweight star Cris “Cyborg” Justino isn’t knocking heads in the hectic world of mixed martial arts, she likes to give back to the community. The latest example of the fearsome fighter’s philanthropic efforts occured on Tuesday morning in her native Brazil where she visited with a group of young cancer patients in the pediatric ward of the Erasto Gaertner Hospital
During this visit, Cyborg taught the children a bit about her craft, showing them how to punch, kick and throw knees, and holding the focus mitts for them as they tested out what they’d learned. During the visit, the UFC star also beat up a few clowns, which was unsurprisingly a huge hit with the kids.
“Such a visit improves both the self-esteem of children and parents,” said the mother of one of the children to Brazil’s gazetadopovo.com.br. “A person as known as her, who takes her time to come here to help, has an immeasurable value.”
During her visit, Cyborg also received a cardboard UFC belt, made by the kids. This was understandably a very rewarding and heartwarming experience for her.
“They made one belt, which all the kids signed,” Cyborg told BJPenn.com’s Tom Taylor. “I was very emotional about it.”
“I wanted to do something special,” she continued, explaining the reason for her visit. “I want to stay in people’s memories not just as the baddest fighter on the planet or the most aggressive fighter, because this [fighting career] passes really fast. I want to make a difference in a lot of kids’ lives, giving them support during their treatment, and seeing the family and kids smile. It’s the most important thing!”
“Showing compassion and love for others is he most important part of being famous or having a belt,” she added.
At the moment, Cyborg is eagerly awaiting a fight, having not competed since her blowout win over Lina Lansberg in September. If she has her way, her next fight will be a featherweight title shot against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 214. The card goes down on July 29 in her established stomping grounds of Anaheim, California. If this fight does not materialize as planned, Cyborg has previously suggested she’d be willing to take a non-title fight to participate on the Anaheim card – ideally against current Invicta champ Megan Anderson.
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/18/2017.