MMA wrecking machine Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino returns to action on Sept. 20, but it won’t be at Invicta FC.
Cyborg, Invicta FC’s featherweight titleholder, announced after her fourth-round TKO win over Marloes Coenen last July , that she was heading to Thailand for a Muay Thai bout. Her plans changed a bit, and Lion Fight announced on Wednesday that Cyborg will take on kickboxing champion Martina Jindrova on Sept. 20 at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas.
"I was set to fight at Thailand and the event was postponed, but some promoters saw that I wanted that and contacted my managers," Cyborg told MMAFighting.com. "I don’t fight Muay Thai since my early days in Brazil, when I started fighting MMA. But I love to fight and compete everywhere.
"I fought a few times in some small events in Brazil, mostly between Chute Boxe franchises in Curitiba. It usually took me a long time between MMA fights so I wanted to stay active and competing," she added.
Jindrova built a 17-5 record in Muay Thai, winning titles in boxing and kickboxing in her homeland Czech Republic. "Cyborg", considered by many the best female MMA fighter of all times, scored knockouts in 10 of her 12 wins, but Martina’s experience under Muay Thai could put Cristiane as the underdog in a fight for the first time in years.
"She only fights in Muay Thai, so that gives her an advantage," Cristiane said. "I saw some of her fights yesterday. She has a very traditional Muay Thai, so I will have to set up a good game plan to defeat her."
Although she only trained for MMA bouts for at least five years, "Cyborg" has Muay Thai running in her veins.
"Training for MMA is completely different, but I never stopped training Muay Thai," she said. "I don’t care about who’s the favorite. I never give up. I love to get my face punched, and I love to punch faces too. I was born in Muay Thai, this is what I do."
Excited to compete in Muay Thai, the 28-year old striker plans a return to Invicta FC’s cage for the third time in late 2013, and she thanks Shannon Knapp, Invicta’s founder, for letting her do the crossover fight.
"I’m really glad that I signed with Invicta, and I feel blessed for having another belt," she said. "Everything that happened in my life made me learn more and more. I want to fight all the time, and Invicta knows that, so them letting me fight Muay Thai now was really great, and I’m thankful for that."
"Cyborg" defeated Marloes Coenen to conquer the inaugural Invicta FC 145-pound title, but she could move up to lightweight for her next fight.
"My contract ends this year and I still have one fight left, so they asked if I can fight out of my weight class," Justino said. "They didn’t give me an opponent yet, but I told them I don’t choose opponents. I can fight anyone, anytime. (Invicta) asked me if I can fight at 155 pounds next. They want to build that division, so I’m in. Fighting at 155 pounds would be much easier for me, I would need to cut less weight. My last fight (against Coenen) was terrible to cut."
As far as the featherweight belt, she is just waiting for her next challenger: "I don’t know who’s next, but I know Invicta will find someone."