Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino gave the UFC brass another strong reminder that it’s time to usher in a new era for women’s MMA after she decimated Lina Lansberg in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 95 main event in Brazil.
The former Strikeforce and Invicta featherweight champion, making her second catch-weight 140lbs appearance under the UFC banner, added credence to her title as the most dominant female fighter on the planet as she devastated Lansberg on her way to another impressive victory inside the Octagon.
But the Brazilian’s future is still clouded as the 31-year-old once again ruled out cutting down to 135lbs to challenge for UFC bantamweight gold.
The promotion currently only caters to two women’s weight divisions – 115lbs and 135lbs – but there have long been calls to add classes at 145lbs and 125lbs as the talent pool of female fighters expands.
With Justino continuing to cut down to 140lbs for meaningless catch-weight fights the cries for new divisions grow ever louder but ‘Cyborg’ maintains she is happy to make that cut again.
“I never choose opponents,” she said at the post-fight press conference in Brasilia. “I always train and wait for them to choose for me. To fight against a top 10, I won’t cut down to 135 and they won’t want to fight at 145, so I will cry to make 140 and they will eat some pizza to make 140 and we put on a fight for the fans. Who knows, maybe we’ll do the fight that everybody wants with Ronda (Rousey).”
Indeed, a superfight with Rousey has long whetted the appetite but it remains a distant dream. However, a 145lbs division built around Justino may not be too far away.
In the co-main event, Renan Barao scored a much needed win over Phillipe Nover.
The former bantamweight champion was under pressure after dropping his last two fights but is now off the mark after moving up to featherweight.
Michael Johnson and Derek Brunson rise in the lightweight and middleweight divisions, respectively. Plus a look ahead to Brasilia and Cris Cyborg.
Forrest Griffin and Matt Parrino break down the changes in the rankings.
What do you make of the new rankings and this week’s biggest movers and shakers?