With 83-percent of her mixed martial arts victories coming by way of knockout, Cris “Cyborg” Justino is ready to step back into the Muay Thai realm. Cyborg will test her stand-up skills against undefeated Jennifer Colomb at Lion Fight 11 in Las Vegas on Friday.
After a yearlong hiatus from MMA in 2012, Justino passed on an opportunity to join the UFC’s female ranks, citing the 10-pound reduction in weight being unhealthy. The organization’s lone women’s division is set at 135 pounds, while Justino calls 145 pounds her home.
Nonetheless, she signed with Invicta FC where her Muay Thai based attack was on full display as she secured back-to-back knockout victories.
After finishing Marloes Coenen and Fiona Muxlow this past April and July, Justino decided it was time to try her hand at Muay Thai under the Lion Fight banner. A decision she is pleased with thus far.
“I’m very excited, because I like to compete all the time and when I don’t have MMA fights I want to compete in Muay Thai,” Justino recently told MMAWeekly.com. “In the beginning of my career, I competed in Muay Thai in Brazil in professional and amateur. I love Muay Thai, I love the stand-up, and I’m very excited, I’m very happy. I’m going to do my best.”
The undefeated Colomb is a short-notice replacement as Justino’s original opponent, Martina Jindrova, was forced out due to injury. While hours of time were dedicated to film study in order to grasp her foe’s tendencies, Cyborg believes she is prepared no matter the opponent.
“Always when you study for opponents, you’re doing it for that opponent, but no problem you know,” she said. “I’m always training hard and I have no injuries. When my manager told me, I got very sad because I think I’m not fighting anymore, but Lion Fight had more girls and I’m now fighting Jennifer. I think it was surprise for her and me too.”
In order to prepare for Lion Fight 11, Justino worked with a host of talented coaches in Southern California including famed boxing coach Jason Parillo.
Parillo has spent time with world champions from nearly every combat sport. She believes his addition to Team Cyborg has been phenomenal for her progression as she enters the ring against Colomb under the Las Vegas lights.
“I’m very happy, when I started working with Jason it started changing my life,” she said. “All the guys support me. I’m always learning, not only in the cage, but outside the cage about life. I think I grow more and more in my last few fights. My style is getting more technical and I’m very excited.”
Cyborg will get the opportunity to show the world how much more technical she’s gotten when she steps in the ring with Colomb in a Lion Fight 11 feature fight on AXS TV on Friday night.
(Photo courtesy of Bennie Palmore / Follow @JoshDCarey on Twitter)