Bellator signs Cris Cyborg to the largest contract in Women’s MMA History

Here’s a few of the classic photos of our MMA heroine Cris Cyborg Justino.

September 3, 2019, Bellator MMA was proud to announce the signing of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (21-2, 1 NC) to their organization and proudly boasted her deal is the largest of its kind in Women’s MMA history and it exclusively secures her talents with a multi-year, multi-fight contract.

Cris Cyborg now joins current standouts Julia Budd, Olga Rubin, Arlene Blencowe, Janay Harding and Leslie Smith among others in this extremely competitive 145-pound weight class to make it the strongest women’s featherweight division in MMA.

Preceding her three-year run in the UFC, winning multiple world titles and establishing a 20-fight unbeaten streak which includes notable victories over Holly Holm, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen, and Leslie Smith, the 34-year-old Curitiba, Brazil-native was the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion, defeating Gina Carano back in 2009. Perhaps locals need a reminder that once upon a time, San Diegans were blessed to have Cris and her husband Evangelista Cyborg Santos teaching MMA classes at The Arena Gym in Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. and your’s truly had the distinct privilege of interviewing this extremely talented fighter.

With Cyborg now living in Huntington Beach, by way of Pacific Beach, S. D., Calif., and her being a former instructor at The Arena MMA Gym in Point Loma, you can imagine how many local folks, like local MMA master of ceremonies Carlos Kremer, are so very happy for her.
Before his untimely death, ex-boxer, beloved coach Lucky-Pheneas Nhlengethwa of The Arena posed for this photo with the megastar who at that time was seeking Lucky’s help to improve her striking skills.
Just as the dreamer, sitting there on the beach predicted, Cris has done so much.
If the MMA career hadn’t panned out, Cris Cyborg could have been a famous hairstylist.
In 2014, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, and Cris Cyborg took part in the filming of this “B” grade movie called ‘Fight Valley’ shot in Philadelphia. During the movie, the gals shared all kinds of set photos and behind the scene stuff. You would have thought this situation would be awkward, but like true professionals, it was reported everyone got along just fine.

“I have worked with countless athletes over my 30-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” stated Bellator President Scott Coker. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her entrance to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, (one right here in San Diego), I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again. ‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up the best female featherweight division in the world have been eagerly awaiting her arrival.”

According to sources, the 34-year-old Cris Cyborg is now engaged to 36-year-old Ray Elbe Wallace who helped pioneer the sports of MMA and BJJ in Southeast Asia. The 4-time MMA Champ and BJJ Black Belt won a Silver Medal at the 2012 IBJJF Nogi World Championships. As a professional, he’s competed for 9 years in 10+ countries in either BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai.
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