Cris “Cyborg” Talks Invicta FC/ Ronda Rousey/ MMA In The Middle East

Cristiane Justino Venancio, the former Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Champion and current Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion.


Those hoping for face-to-face fireworks between Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino on Wednesday left disappointed, as “Cyborg” and the Invicta crew took a van back to the fighter hotel before the Rousey contingent even arrived on the scene.

ArabsMMA caught up with Brazilian mixed martial artist Cristiane Justino Venancio, the former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion and current Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion. Justino (12-1) will defend her Invicta FC featherweight championship against Charmaine Tweet (6-4) Friday night at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, one day before Rousey (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) puts her UFC bantamweight belt on the line at Staples Center, also in Los Angeles.

[divider] 1. How do you find Invicta as an Organization?
I love the loyalty Invicta FC shows their fighters. Shannon Knapp has always supported me and my dreams and has helped me grow my name within the fight world while establishing Invicta as the premier Women’s MMA organization in the world.

2. You’ve won two fights and the Invicta featherweight Championship, what is next for you?
As everyone knows I defend my belt Friday against top 10 ranked Charmaine Tweet. Everyone can watch my fight on After my fight we will sit with my team and decide what is next.

3. Would you consider switching to the UFC if the right deal comes along, or does defending your title seem more in the plans now?
My focus is defending my belt on Friday. I am the best female fighter in the world and am willing to prove that with every opportunity god gives me.

4. What do you think of the UFC’s women division, who are the fighters you want to fight?
I think it is nice to see Dana White finally support women athletes, and Inshallah I will get an opportunity to make the fight everyone is wanting to watch.

Cris Cyborg Justino vs Marloes Coenen

5. What do you think about Ronda Rousey?
I think she is a great athlete and has a good marketing team behind her. She competed in the olympics at 155lbs, and was able to stay undefeated at 145lbs while I was the Strikeforce Champion of that division. Now that the UFC only has a 135lbs she is able to use the weight as an excuse to prevent giving the fans the fight everyone is wanting to see. I think if she really wanted to be the best in the world she would be willing to meet in the middle and give everyone the Champion Vs. Champion matchup they have been asking for.

6. Surely you want to fight her, but do you think the fight will ever happen in the UFC?

7. Rousey says she would accept the fight at 61 KG what is your thoughts on the matter?
You can run but you can’t hide forever.

8. How is your relationship with Dana White?
We don’t have a relationship, I have only met him once, maybe this year I will put him on my christmas card list, lol.


9. Dana White said he was interested in signing you with the same deal he gave rousey however your management turned down the offer, care to comment on that?
The contracts may have been similar but they were asking me to sign a contract for a weight division I have never competed in during my 10 year career, that is like asking GSP to sign a contract for Lightweight.

10. Do you plan on visiting the Middle East to introduce MMA to Women in the region as a Champion?
I would love an opportunity to promote Women’s MMA and Brazilian Jiu JItsu in the Middle East. My friend and old wrestling teammate Marcos Olivera is currently living and teaching in the UAE and has told me the people and culture in the region are amazing. Hopefully I get a chance to see that part of the world for myself. Anyone interested in hosting me for a seminar or public appearance can contract my management team on my website and blog

11. Do you follow the MMA scene in the Middle East? What are your thoughts on it?
When I am not fighting, I do not follow MMA very closely, but I have had an opportunity to watch the second season of Al Batal, which featured BJJ Black Belt Ray Elbe as one of the head coaches, it was a good introduction to the region and an exciting show for TV. It looks like MMA is growing in popularity in the region, and I’m sure after my visit I will have a relationship with more athletes competing in the Middle East, which will make me pay closer attention to the events.

12. There are plenty of people who admire you and respect you in the ME, what would you like to tell them?
I appreciate their support, and hopefully will get an opportunity to visit the Middle East in person so they can meet me. I am training hard to give them the performance they expect Friday night, and would appreciate them following me on Twitter and Instagram @CrisCyborg

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