If you are an active MMA fan, or combat sports fan for that matter, I’m sure you’ve heard or said to yourself “Man he/she knocked out a ton of people.” Well that got me wondering… who has literally knocked out a ton of people by weight (2000 lbs.)?
This week will mark our first female competitor to be covered in Tonnage. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino Venancio 19-1-0-1 MMA was born on July 9, 1985 in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil.
Cyborg’s first involvement in sports was competing in handball during her school days where she played at the national level. This is where the founder of Chute Boxe Academy, Rudimar Fedrigo would first approach Cyborg about training and competing in his GYM. At first she resisted but then accepted a free Muay Thai class where she met future husband Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. This is where her true spark for competition began.
Just months into her training she would take her first pro bout at Showfight 2 vs. Erica Paes on May 17, 2005. Things did not go her way however, tapping to a Kneebar at just 1:46 into her pro career. Six months later on November 20th Cyborg would debut for the Storm Samurai promotion at SS 9. She would pick up her first win, a unanimous decision over Vanessa Porto who was 3-1 with three straight first round stoppages. Cyborg would compete three times for Storm Samurai in 2006 picking up first round TKO’s over Chris Schroeder, Elaine Santiago de Lima and Marise Vitoria.
After being out of competition for almost two years, Cyborg would return to meet Shayna Baszler in her EliteXC and American debut in July 2008. Cyborg picked up her fourth straight TKO at 2:48 of the second round. She would compete once more for EliteXC taking a unanimous decision over Yoko Takahashi in October 2008.
Cyborg would now sign to compete for Strikeforce in a 150 lb. catchweight bout vs Hitomi Akano the following year in April. She would gain another TKO stopping Akano at thirty-five seconds of the third round. Now she would be set to face MMA superstar Gina Carano for the vacant Strikeforce women’s featherweight title in her second bout for the promotion. With only one second left in the first round, Cyborg got the TKO stoppage becoming the Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion.
Five months later she would make her first title defense vs Marloes Coenen in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Miami. Cyborg would get a late third round TKO stoppage over Coenen successfully defending her title for the first time. Jan Finney would get the next shot at her strap at Strikeforce: Fedor vs Werdum in June 2010. Cyborg would only need two and a half rounds of the scheduled five to get the KO and retain her featherweight title.
After being inactive for a year Cyborg would re-sign with EliteXC and was set to face Hiroko Yamanaka for her third title defense on 12-17-2011. After just sixteen seconds Cyborg scored a TKO victory in her only bout of the year giving her three straight title defenses. The victory was short-lived however. It was announced shortly after that Cyborg had failed a drug test for stanozolol. She was suspended for one year, fined $2,500 and her quickest career stoppage vs Yamanaka was overturned to a no contest.
Just after Cyborg’s suspension was over, Strikeforce folded into the UFC and she was beltless once again. She would now sign with the leading producer of WMMA, Invicta FC. The scheduled bout to make her Invicta debut vs Ediane Gomes at Invicta FC 5 fell through when Gomes pulled out due to injury. Fiona Muxlow would step in to replace Gomes for the 145 lb. showdown. Cyborg would again finish the bout with a first round TKO.
Now in her second bout for the promotion, Cyborg would be set up to rematch Marloes Coenen in the main event of Invicta FC 6 for the inaugural Invicta featherweight title. On July 13, 2013 Cyborg stopped Coenen in the fourth round with less than a minute to go to claim her second featherweight title. She would defend her Invicta FC featherweight strap 3 times all by first round stoppage. Charmaine Tweet 0:46, Faith Van Duin 0:45 and Daria Ibragimova 4:58.
After seventeen pro bouts and two featherweight championship runs, Cyborg would finally land in the UFC. At this time the UFC didn’t have a 145 lb. division and after actively trying to get Cyborg to go to 135 and face champ Ronda Rousey they ended up making a catchweight bout for Cyborg’s UFC debut. Leslie Smith would get the first crack at Cyborg at UFC 198 in a 140 lb. catchweight bout.
Cyborg would claim an easy victory in her octagon debut stopping Smith at 1:21 via TKO in her hometown. Four months later, back in Brazil, Cyborg would earn her second TKO victory under the UFC banner in the main event of UFC FN 95. After a canceled bout at UFC 214 vs Megan Anderson for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight belt (stripped from Germaine de Randamie for refusing to defend against Cyborg), she would be set to face Tonya Evinger for the featherweight belt instead.
The former long time Invicta FC bantamweight champ lasted longer than most thought she would in her UFC debut vs Cyborg. However, she too was stopped via strikes at UFC 214 just 1:56 into the third round. Giving Cyborg her sixteenth KO/TKO victory while achieving her dream of becoming the UFC women’s featherweight champion. Now finally setting her up for a previously discussed bout vs former UFC women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm.
On the final UFC card of 2017, Cyborg would meet Holm in her first title defense in the UFC 219 main event. Cyborg would come in as a large favorite over Holm with many expecting a quick bout. Holm however had other plans and battled Cyborg for the full five rounds. Losing a unanimous decision in what showed the true power of Cyborg all across the face of Holm.
Cyborg, now the defending UFC women’s featherweight champion and the true “Baddest woman on the planet”, will be looking to secure her spot in UFC history.
In Cyborg’s 21 fight career she has KO/TKO’d 16 of her opponents totaling a whopping 2,299 lbs. of women.
In order from most recent:
Tonya Evinger UFC 214 3rd rnd. TKO @ 1:56 145 lbs.
Lina Lansberg UFC FN 95 2nd rnd. TKO @ 2:29 140 lbs.
Leslie Smith UFC 198 1st rnd. TKO @ 1:21 139 lbs.
Daria Ibragimova Invicta 15 1st rnd. KO @ 4:58 143.7 lbs.
Faith Van Duin Invicta 13 1st rnd. TKO @ 0:45 144.9 lbs.
Charmaine Tweet Invicta 11 1st rnd. TKO @ 0:46 144.8
Marloes Coenen Invicta 6 4th rnd. TKO @ 4:02 145 lbs.
Fiona Muxlow Invicta 5 1st rnd. TKO @ 3:46 143.8
Jan Finney Strikeforce/M-1 2nd rnd. KO @ 2:56 143.5 lbs.
Marloes Coenen Strikeforce-Miami 3rd rnd. TKO @ 3:40 143.8 lbs.
Gina Carano Strikeforce-Carano/Cyborg 1st rnd. TKO @ 4:59 143 lbs.
Hitomi Akano Strikeforce-Shamrock/Diaz 3rd rnd. TKO @ 0:35 143.5 lbs.
Shayna Baszler EliteXE-UB 2nd rnd. TKO @ 2:48 139 lbs.
Marise Vitoria SS 12 1st rnd. TKO @ 1:27 145 lbs.
Elaine Santiago de Lima SS 11 1st rnd. TKO @ 2:46 125 lbs.
Chris Schroeder SS 10 1st rnd. TKO @ ? 170 lbs.
Which is your favorite Cyborg KO?
Check out the complete Dropping Tonnage series below:
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 1 – Mark Hunt
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 2 – Michael Bisping
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 3 – Cain Velasquez
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 4 – Mauricio Rua