Cris "Cyborg" Justino, who puts her featherweight title on the line Dec. 30 in the headlining fight of UFC 219 in Las Vegas, is easily the most dangerous knockout artist in the history of women's MMA. In honor of her upcoming championship bout against Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm, here's a look back at her top five greatest fights:
"Cyborg" vs. Carano, which went down in 2009 under the Strikeforce banner, is the fight that put women's MMA on the map. In this famous tilt, the Brazilian derailed the Carano hype train and became a star in her own right, with a first-round knockout that highlighted how brilliant her striking is. The win earned "Cyborg" the Strikeforce women's title belt.
After a year-long absence in 2012, no one knew what "Cyborg" would look like when she showed up to make her Invicta FC debut in 2013. Justino missed an extended period of time after popping hot for PEDs, so many MMA experts were doubtful of her comeback bid. With a performance for the ages, "Cyborg" quieted the pens of her harshest critics. She won by first-round knockout, proving not that she hadn't lost a step; she was back and better than ever.
On July 27, 2017, at UFC 214, "Cyborg" proved that old dogs can learn new tricks. In this fight, the champ showed off a more technical, disciplined style. After a third-round stoppage due to knees, she left fans wondering exactly who on this planet could possibly beat her.
Justino's beautiful brand of violence was on full display at Invicta FC 11 in 2015. She successfully defended her featherweight title and earned a performance of the night bonus for a jaw-dropping knockout of Tweet. This is the fight that likely convinced the UFC to build a division around her.
The second time "Cyborg" locked horns with Coenen, on July 13, 2013, it was proof to the MMA community that she's more than just a knockout artist. This is a fight where the scrappy 145-pound talent showed she has a complete arsenal, with high-level wrestling and submission skills to go along with her stand-up game.
Click here for tickets to see Cyborg take on Holly Holm at UFC 219 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 30.