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Cris Cyborg postpones bantamweight debut, eyes Invicta FC title defense early next year

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Esther Lin, Strikeforce

Cris Cyborg would have been making her bantamweight debut at Invicta FC 10 on Friday, but an ankle injury forced her off the Dec. 5 card. For her next bout, she will be competing at 145 pounds.

Cyborg became the first Invicta FC featherweight champion with a fourth-round TKO victory over Marloes Coenen in July 13, 2013, and has yet to defend her title.

"I haven’t fought in a long time. With this injury, I believe the best option now will be fight in my division," Cyborg told MMAFighting.com. "I can’t wait anymore, I need to fight. I’m the featherweight champion and Invicta FC needs me to defend my belt."

Undefeated since 2005, Cyborg expects to get back in action in February.

"I believe I will be ready to fight in February. I’m slowly returning to training, so I won’t get injured again," she said. "I’m swimming and doing physical therapy since I got back from Thailand. My physical therapist Ivan Carmosino will clear me to train soon."

Returning at 145 pounds means Cyborg won’t need to cut the same amount of weight she was cutting for Invicta FC 10, but it won’t be easy.

The Brazilian brawler said she still had 28 pounds to lose to make weight at bantamweight one month prior to the planned bout on Dec. 5. To fight at 145 pounds, she will have to work hard as well.

"Before I got injured, I was around 162 pounds with 12 percent body fat," Cyborg said. "The weight cut is already tough for my division (at 145). I need to do a long work, and that’s why I prefer not to wait much longer and fight in my division.

"I need this motivation. I love to fight. Keeping me at home without a fight is the same to offer candy to a kid and then take it away. That’s why I’m always competing in other martial arts. That keeps me motivated to train and helps me learn even more."