Cris Cyborg’s 13-year unbeaten run ended in a spectacular 51 seconds.
Cyborg suffered a shocking first-round knockout loss to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes on Saturday night at UFC 232, bringing an end to one of the most indomitable unbeaten streaks in the history of the sport. In the 13 years since Cyborg’s lone previous defeat — a defeat which came in her 2005 professional debut — the 33-year-old veteran reigned as the greatest female featherweight to ever compete, capturing virtually every major women’s 145-pound title in MMA, from the UFC and Strikeforce to Invicta FC and EliteXC. But that peerless run of success may not be enough to guarantee Cyborg a rematch against the woman who stopped her at UFC 232.
Asked about the possibility of running things back for Nunes vs. Cyborg 2 at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White demurred.
“I don’t think you do,” White told reporters outside The Forum in Inglewood, California. “I mean, it was a pretty convincing win. … I gotta get back in the lab and figure it out [what’s next for Cyborg], but we’ll come up with something for her.”
Cyborg, not surprisingly, had a different take on the subject. Asked whether she would like a second crack at the only woman to ever knock her out, the Brazilian champion said yes while also referencing her 2014 loss in Muay Thai to kickboxing standout Jorina Baars.
“Of course,” Cyborg said. “Of course. I can rematch [Nunes] any time Dana White wants to put it together. I love fighting and this has put more fire in my heart to continue fighting. Of course, of course, and Jorina Baars I want to rematch too. I always say this. When I stop fighting MMA, I want to go to Muay Thai and rematch her. I never, when I go step in the cage, say I want to prove something. I like to improve. I like to get better and continue training. And after this fight, for sure, I’m going to train harder.”
The action unfolded fast and furious on Saturday at UFC 232 as both Cyborg and Nunes came out swinging for the first women’s champion vs. champion fight in UFC history. Nunes ultimately dropped Cyborg multiple times before sealing the deal with a right hand that sent Cyborg toppling to the canvas. In the aftermath, White proclaimed Nunes to be the greatest female fighter in the history of the sport.
It was all a little overwhelming for Nunes, who was an ecstatic presence at the event’s post-fight press conference. When asked about the possibility of granting Cyborg a rematch, the UFC’s latest two-division champion admitted that she hadn’t even begun to consider her next step.
“I don’t know,” Nunes said. “Let’s see. I want to go home and then sit down with my coaches. This moment is huge in my life, you know? I have to process it. I can’t think about anything else right now, honestly. [We’ll] see what is going to happen next.”