Former Strikeforce champion and current Invicta FC champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino has just tasted defeat for the first time in a long, long while.
Competing in a Muay Thai kickboxing match Friday at Lion Fight 14, Cyborg dropped a unanimous decision in her title fight opposite Jorina Baars. The Dutch kickboxer entered the night with an impressive 35-0-3 record in Muay Thai, and remained undefeated in her return after a three-year hiatus from kickboxing.
In the first round, Baars twice rocked Cyborg, once with a front kick that caught her as she was coming in, and again with a headkick. Baars continued controlling much of the fight, stifling Cyborg with her rangy jab and kicks. It looked early on like Cyborg may have gassed out. She battled back hard in the final two rounds, but was unable to bridge the gap on the scorecards.
In the end, Baars got the nod from all three judges to the tune of 49-45, 48-45, 49-44.
Cyborg has bounced between competition in MMA, with Invicta FC, and kickboxing, with Lion Fight, since 2013. She debuted with Lion Fight in 2013 with a third-round knockout of Jennifer Holcomb. Worth noting, though, was that she looked a bit less muscular for this bout compared to recent outings (which may suggest she is looking to make good on her promises to drop to 135 pounds and retire Ronda Rousey).
For Baars, this provides a much-needed reboot to her kickboxing career. She credits her undefeated record for keeping her out of the ring for nearly three years, during that time amassing a humble 1-3 professional record (not including a 0-1 amateur record) in MMA. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here, and what Lion Fight can do to keep her active now that she owns their belt.