After weeks of campaigning via social media and MMA news outlets, it looks as though Cristiane Justino will see her dream come true on May 14.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials on Monday announced that the woman known as “Cyborg” will make her Octagon debut at UFC 198. Justino, the reigning Invicta FC featherweight champion, will face upsized bantamweight Leslie Smith in a 140-pound catchweight bout.
UFC 198 takes place in Justino’s hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, and is headlined by a UFC heavyweight title bout between champ Fabricio Werdum and challenger Stipe Miocic.
Widely regarded as the most dangerous woman in MMA, Justino had long been rumored for a superfight against Ronda Rousey. However, that matchup lost its luster after Rousey suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Holly Holm in late 2015. The Brazilian bomber famously took out another female superstar, Gina Carano, when they met in a high-profile 2009 Strikeforce contest. “Cyborg,” who has finished 13 of her 15 wins by knockout, has not tasted defeat since dropping her MMA debut in 2005.
Smith comes fresh off a win over Rin Nakai last week at UFC Fight Night 85. Smith’s unanimous decision win allowed her to get back on the winning track after losing via technical knockout to Jessica Eye in November 2014. Entering the Nakai fight, the Californian had lost four of her last six bouts.