Could Cris Cyborg become the next Conor McGregor? She certainly hopes so.
While attending Saturday’s boxing match between Cecilia Braekhus and Kali Reis in Carson, Calif., Cyborg, 32, talked about making a move into boxing. She’d like to do it in a similar fashion as McGregor, but she also sounded as if she was prepared to leave her MMA career behind in order to pursue boxing.
“Of course, I need time for training. I think I need four, six months training. Gonna be maybe perfect because I have two fights left MMA and then I can focus on boxing,” Cyborg told Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole.
Asked to clarify whether or not Cyborg meant that should would be done with MMA at that point, she did not close the door to the cage, indicating that she would like to take a boxing match a la McGregor and maintain her status as UFC featherweight champion.
“I would like to work with them. If the UFC work it and I can do the boxing fight and still have the belt and come back like McGregor did,” said Cyborg, though she indicated that if she had to leave the UFC behind in the short term, returning to regain the belt at a later date would be “no problem” for her.
For now, however, she is intent on challenging herself in the realm of boxing. And what better way to do it than shoot straight for the top.
Cyborg’s target for her first boxing match would be Cecilia Braekhus, who defeated Kali Reis in a hard-fought 10-round decision on Saturday. She is widely regarded as one of the top female boxers of all time.
Braekhus, 36, is undefeated at 33-0 with nine knockouts. A former kickboxer, she has reigned supreme over the women’s welterweight division since 2014. Braekhus is the first woman in boxing history to hold four titles simultaneously and is one of only four boxers, male or female, to achieve that feat.
Cyborg understands the task before her, but relishes it, much in the same fashion as McGregor welcomed his out with Floyd Mayweather.
“I think it’s a challenge for myself.”
(Courtesy of Kevin Iole)