Cris Cyborg Vacates Invicta FC Title, Calls for UFC Title Bout with De Randamie

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2017

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 24: Cris Cyborg of Brazil celebrates victory over Lina Lansberg of Sweden in their catchweight UFC bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Nilson Nelson gymnasium on September 24, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Invicta FC's Cris Cyborg era is officially over.

Less than a day before Saturday's Invicta FC 22 event, the leading lady of women's MMA announced in a video post on YouTube that she was vacating the promotion's featherweight title in order to focus on her likely UFC title berth.

"After her victory, [Germaine de Randamie] at 145 pounds, the UFC determined that she will be the No. 1 contender for my title belt," Cyborg said (h/t MMAFighting.com's Shaun al-Shatti for the transcription). "I'm healthy now and I'm strong, and I really want to show my fans why I'm still 10 years undefeated at 145 pounds."

Cyborg became the leading lady of MMA by defeating Gina Carano in 2009.
Cyborg became the leading lady of MMA by defeating Gina Carano in 2009.Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Getty Images

From 2009 to 2011, Cyborg was the face of women's MMA, competing in featured bouts in Strikeforce until the promotion's closure. After some uncertainty, she joined Invicta FC in 2013 and won the promotion's featherweight title later that year by defeating Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6, defending it three times.

She made her UFC debut in 2016 at UFC 198 by defeating Leslie Smith in a 140-pound catchweight bout and followed that up by knocking out Lina Lansberg at UFC Fight Night 95. The promotion officially opened its women's featherweight division at UFC 208 with an inaugural title bout between Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm, which ended with de Randamie winning via controversial unanimous decision.

Cyborg is looking to take the UFC featherweight title from Germaine de Randamie.
Cyborg is looking to take the UFC featherweight title from Germaine de Randamie.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The expectation among pundits seems to be that Cyborg will be de Randamie's first challenger and this helps that case.

So when might the match happen? If it's up to Cyborg, it will happen this summer. "July 29th, the UFC will be in south California," she said. "And I would like to fight in my backyard in America in Anaheim, California."

Whether the fight will come to pass is unclear. De Randamie previously suggested she may be out for a while due to a hand injury and is angling for a Holm rematch. Either way, expect Cyborg's next fight to be in the Octagon, and almost certainly for a title.

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