Photo courtesy: BELLATOR MMA / LUCAS NOONAN
It was 2011 when Cris Cyborg was in Las Vegas for the GFight Summit, doing an all women’s seminar.
A decade and several belts later, she is still helping the next generation of female fighter and encouraging girls to start training in combat sports.
“For me it’s very special when I see the girls. ‘I started training after I saw you fight Gina Carano’,” Cyborg told us in a sit down interview this past week. “I am very blessed. After the fights the girls still talk to me (about fighting). It wasn’t big at the beginning but now I can leave a little bit more (of a legacy). A lot of people like to watch women in MMA which makes me very happy.”
Looking at a career that has spanned more than a decade, Cyborg has seen tremendous growth in the sport. At a point where there were few opponents for her and even fewer in her weight class, making a career of being “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” was rough. With more females taking up the sport at different weight classes, she has seen more opportunities.
Cyborg credits Bellator President Scott Coker for continuing to grow the women’s divisions.
“Scott Coker invests in women’s MMA. He did in Strikeforce when I faced Gina Carano and continues to do so. I am really happy. I chose to go to Bellator because they sign featherweights unlike the UFC. Fighter have to go up.”
Speaking of Bellator, they recently signed former InvictaFC featherweight champion Pam Sorenson to the promotion. When asked about her signing, Cyborg stated it would be a great match up and looked forward to facing her in the future.
We have yet to know who is next for Cyborg, who is being tight lipped about who and where her next fight will take place. She has signed a contract, but we are awaiting an announcement from Bellator.
There is another thing we can look forward to though. As posted earlier today, Cris Cyborg’s MMA promotion in Brazil Nacoa Cyborg has announced its first all female event for October 2.
“We didn’t have a hard time finding fighters. Women’s MMA has grown so much. We are proud to showcase the new generation.”
With Cyborg contributions inside and outside the cage, she is giving inspiration to many women and girls to train in combat sports.
“The most important thing in my career is make the sport better.”