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UFC actively exploring possibility of Cris Cyborg fighting at UFC 198

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Cris "Cyborg" Justino Justino may very well get her wish.

The UFC is actively exploring the possibility of having Justino compete at UFC 198, sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, who reported the news Wednesday on UFC Tonight.

Justino (15-1, 1 NC) is the reigning Invicta FC featherweight champion. She has campaigned heavily to compete at UFC 198 over recent weeks, and for good reason.

The event, slated for May 14, takes place at the behemoth 42,000-seat Atletico Paranaense soccer stadium and marks the UFC's first venture into Justino's hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.

"It has been almost 10 years since I last fought in my home country of Brazil," Justino recently wrote on her website. "I am very lucky that over the last decade my Brazilian fans have continued to support me and my career as I chased my dreams as a world champion, while living and competing in America.

"This May the UFC will be promoting an event in my hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, a city very rich in fight history. It would be an honor to return back to the city I was born in, and to step inside of the Octagon with an opportunity to prove myself as one of the best female fighters in the sport."

While Justino primarily fights for Invicta FC, her contract is owned by Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC. The UFC presently does not feature a women's featherweight division.

A crossover fight between Justino and former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been discussed for years but ultimately failed to come together due to Rousey's refusal to compromise on a catchweight. However, several other bantamweights on the roster have voiced a willingness to challenge Justino, including current UFC champion Miesha Tate and top contender Holly Holm.

"I know that the UFC does not have my division," Justino recently wrote, "which is why I am asking my fans to help make this fight."

"Cyborg," 30, is widely considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound female fighters in the sport. She is unbeaten over the last decade and has won five straight fights under the Invicta FC umbrella, four of which ended within the first round.

Justino also holds the distinction of being the only featherweight champion in Strikeforce history, a title she won with a blockbuster victory over Gina Carano in 2009.

In 2011, Justino was stripped of that belt after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. She has since passed every drug test she has taken.

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