While the UFC has gotten out of the “Cyborg business,” another promotion has opted to get in it because Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has announced that former UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg has signed the “biggest contract in women’s MMA history.”
Coker made the announcement through Twitter, which featured comments from the newly signed Cyborg:
Cyborg said the following in the video:
“Hey Cyborg Nation fans, I’m very excited to announce that I’m partnering with Scott Coker and Viacom and fighting in Bellator. And you guys know that I have a lot of girls that I want to fight at 145 pounds and this means you’re gonna have a lot of fights per year, I’m very happy about that. My goal is to be the only female fighter holding four different major titles in the same division and I know with you guys, I can do it. I want to say, Cyborg Nation...welcome to Bellator.”
Bellator also issued Fightful.com the following press release:
Bellator is proud to announce the signing of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (21-2, 1 NC) to the organization. The deal – the largest of its kind in women’s MMA history – exclusively secures “Cyborg’s” talents with a multi-year, multi-fight contract.
“Cyborg” joins current champ Julia Budd, Olga Rubin, Arlene Blencowe, Janay Harding and Leslie Smith among others, cementing Bellator’s 145-pound weight class as the strongest women’s featherweight division in MMA.
“Cyborg” joins Bellator following a three-year run in UFC, multiple world titles and a 20-fight unbeaten streak that includes notable victories against Holly Holm, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen and Leslie Smith. Notably, the 34-year-old Curitiba, Brazil-native was the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion, defeating Gina Carano for the title in 2009.
“I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again. ‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival.”
There is no word yet on the length of the contract or any financial numbers associated with the deal, it also hasn’t been revealed at this time as to when Cyborg will make her promotional debut. Cyborg and Coker have had a long standing business relationship as well, as Coker ran the Strikeforce promotion and Cyborg held the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Title.