Invicta FC world featherweight champion Cristiane Justiano (aka, Cyborg) has suffered a serious ankle injury that will postpone her highly anticipated return and drop to 135 pounds.
Out of Invicta FC 10
Invicta officials said on Saturday that Justiano suffered a torn anterior talofibular ligament in her left ankle and that she will no longer be headlining the December 5 Invicta FC 10 event in Houston, Texas as originally announced. Instead, an atom weight title bout between Michelle Waterson and Herica Tiburcio will be the new main event. The statement by Invicta FC did not say whether Justiano’s injury will require surgery, but it said that since the injury is serious, it would require “significant recovery time.”
Justiano has not fought in MMA since becoming the inaugural Invicta FC featherweight champion by knocking out Marloes Coenen in their July 2013 rematch. She has since returned to Muay Thai fighting and competed in the first ever Lion Fight welterweight championship last March where she lost a five round decision to Jorina Baars.
Eyeing a Rousey Bout
Cyborg Justiano has been dubbed as the one fighter who could challenge UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the Octagon. But since Justiano has been fighting in featherweight since retiring MMA legend Gina Carano in 2009, there was a call for her to 135 pounds in her comeback fight to have the shot to challenge Rousey.
Knowing that Ronda Rousey is the new face of women’s MMA much like Carano was in 2009, Justiano heeded that call and signed to fight again on December 5 against an unnamed opponent. Although no formal negotiations with Zuffa have been made, Justiano was eyeing a 2015 bout against Rousey if Ronda beats Cat Zingano at UFC 184 and if Cyborg won the supposed 135 pound bout on December 5.
A Real threat
Justiano is ranked by most MMA experts as the #2 pound for pound female fighter today behind Ronda Rousey. The 29 year old Brazilian is also considered as the best female featherweight fighter in the sport and is a former two time World Brazilian Jiu-Jistu gold medalist in the 74 kg category. Cyborg became famous after she knocked out MMA pioneer Gina Carano in one round during the first Strikeforce featherweight title bout. Carano retired after the loss to pursue a movie career.
Ronda Rousey has been the most dominant women’s MMA fighter in the last three years. She has taken the UFC by storm with her incredible submission skills and bad ass personality. Rousey is undefeated in 10 bouts and has submitted 8 opponents and knocked out the other two. She is scheduled to fight number one contender Cat Zingano at UFC 184 on February 25, 2015. If she goes on to beat Zingano, the only real threat left is Cristiane “Cyborg” Justiano who is not even in the UFC’s line-up.
If that fight can be made by Zuffa, it looks like it will have to wait much longer with Justiano’s injury.