Cris Cyborg: MMA legend to face "big challenge" in boxing debut

Cris Cyborg MMA

Cris Cyborg has announced she will be making her long-awaited professional boxing debut.

The Bellator MMA women’s featherweight champion has been vocal about wanting to crossover into boxing for a long time, and now, she will get her chance inside the squared circle.

Cyborg confirmed on The MMA Hour that she is scheduled to face Brazil’s Simone Silva on September 25th in the main event of a Fight Music Show (FMS) card.

It will be a poignant fight for the Brazilian-American legend as she prepares to travel back to her home city for her maiden boxing match.

The bout will take place at the Athletico Paranaense Arena in Curitiba, Brazil, which is also where her UFC debut took place in 2016. She won against Leslie Smith via TKO in the first round.

The 37-year-old fighter is eager to get inside the ring and mark this new chapter in her career, but she is certainly not underestimating her opponent.

“Simone Silva is a former Brazilian national boxing champion who has boxed all over the world against some of the sport’s best female World Champions while representing Brazil on the global stage,” Cyborg said during a press conference earlier this week.

“She has fought for a World Championship in boxing four different times during her career and is a proven and durable veteran who is going to be a real challenge for my first experience inside of the boxing ring. I am excited to challenge myself in a completely different sport and see where my potential in boxing measures.”

INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 29: Cris Cyborg of Brazil (left) is punched by Amanda Nunes (right) during a Women’s Feather weight bout during the UFC 232 event inside The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

While this be the first time Cyborg will strap on a pair of boxing gloves, the diverse fighter has competed in Muay Thai and grappling matches in the past.

She was last in action back in April when she defended her Bellator title against Australian MMA and boxing star Arlene Blencowe. Cyborg won via unanimous decision to extend her win streak to six matches — restoring her form after she lost against Amanda Nunes in the UFC.

Cyborg is currently number one in the Bellator Women’s pound-for-pound rankings. She is the first and only fighter, male or female, to become an MMA Grand Slam Champion after holding titles across four major promotions.

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