Bellator women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will add pro boxing to her list of accomplishments as she makes her debut on Sunday, September 25th in her native hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, against Simone Silva.
Cyborg will have a tough task on her hands as Silva is a boxing veteran with over 40 professional fights and nearly 300 rounds of experience. Silva has boxed for the WBA, WBF, IBA and WBC World titles in her career.
Cyborg recently held an open media workout in Huntington Beach, California, where I spoke with her about the fight (seen above).
She said she loves a challenge and that even though she has some butterflies heading into the fight, that's what challenges do: "they give you butterflies in your belly."
Cyborg has already had a dream MMA career, holding gold in Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC and Bellator. She is MMA's only "Grand Slam" champion (male or female), having captured every belt in her weight category.
She had a 13-year undefeated streak from 2005-2018 and after her December 2018 loss to Amanda Nunes, she is undefeated in the last four years (6-0) She has been ranked by ESPN in the pound-for-pound rankings more times than any other female fighter in the sport of MMA. .
She was also part of the first ever televised female main event where she competed against Gina Carano.
Even with all that success, boxing has been a dream of hers for a while.
"Everybody has to do something really uncomfortable. You cannot just sit down on the bed and sit on the couch and think about having a dream. You have to go, you have to get it....your dream," she said.
While the two sports have their differences, Cyborg described boxing as being "really complex," noting that it is making her prepare "really hard" with a lot of sprint work in addition to swimming, sparring and jump rope.
Cyborg said she draws confidence from that training. She respects all her opponents and is working at getting better and improving her game.
"Every time I step in a cage, I leave it in God's hands," she said.
When it comes to the future in boxing, she would like to do one more fight after this but is still not sure since all her focus is currently on Silva. She also had to defend her Bellator title as well.
In the past, Cyborg has been vocal about possibly trying pro wrestling and has even trained with AEW Women's World Champion Thunder Rosa. While she loves challenges, pro wrestling is "a different sport" but if granted the opportunity, she would train for it. She also brought up another MMA legend and current WWE star Ronda Rousey as "doing amazing" in wrestling.