”Cyborg” has been signed to a UFC contract, but her debut is no guarantee. | Esther Lin/Invicta FC
Cristiane Justino has indeed signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but the agreement between the parties occurred approximately two months ago.
Dana White confirmed to UFC Tonight on Wednesday that “Cyborg” signed with the Las Vegas-based promotion prior to her Feb. 28 fight at Invicta FC 11. However, in order for Justino to receive her desired matchup with women’s bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey, she must compete at 135 pounds in Invicta.
Justino is expected to defend her featherweight strap at Invicta FC 13 on July 10. After that, the Brazilian is expected to make the cut to bantamweight for a late 2015 appearance with the all-female promotion. Assuming all goes well there, “Cyborg” will be able to make her highly-anticipated UFC debut sometime in 2016.
Earlier on Wednesday, speculation regarding Justino’s status intensified after Brazilian outlet Combate published a social media post from the fighter which seemed to indicate that the former Strikeforce titlist was already in the UFC. The full statement is as follows:
Your excuses for not fighting me are falling almost as fast as you will when I get you in the cage - stop with the reckless steroid allegations- I am clean! You know I have passed multiple test, including random testing- lets do Olympic random testing you and I- like Mayweather/Pacquiao- and one less excuse for you to hide behind - Lorenzo signed me- I'm back and coming for you - but you will either retire to movies or run to 125 like you ran from me at 145- you will never be the best until you fight the best- step up- it takes two to scrap- don't be scared- the fans see me coming and you talking- have some respect for the fans- it's embarrassing how you will go up in weight to fight Gina or Leila but not me- regardless I'm coming for you- make an effort instead of just hiding behind excuses - you may have 99 excuses not to fight me - but not being in the UFC ain't one.
While the “Lorenzo [Fertitta] signed me” portion of that statement is essentially true, the UFC Tonight report revealed the stipulations Justino must meet in order to make the Rousey showdown a reality.
In her most recent outing, Justino successfully defended her featherweight title at Invicta FC 11, stopping Charmaine Tweet via technical knockout 46 seconds into the first round.
Rousey, meanwhile, dispatched Cat Zingano via armbar in just 14 seconds in her last appearance at UFC 184. The Olympic judoka is set to defend her title against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on Aug. 1.