It took all of 13 years for it to happen, but Cristiane Justino was beaten again in an MMA match.
But “Cyborg” wasn’t just beaten on Saturday night in the co-main event at UFC 232 in California, she was obliterated by fellow Brazilian Amanda Nunes. Many had expected “Cyborg” to do what she normally does, which was throw her wild haymakers, connect and walk out of the Octagon with yet another fabulous knockout win.
There was a knockout win, but it wasn’t Justino (20-2) who walked out of the cage as the victor. It was Nunes, the reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion, who bludgeoned “Cyborg” with a battery of fists to the head. Nunes (17-4) bombarded betting favorite in just 51 seconds, but Justino kept her head high after the shocking defeat.
“In the beginning, when I did my first MMA fight, I lost,” Justino told the assembled press after UFC 232 on Saturday night. “I never said I was going to be invincible or that I’d never lose. It’s the fight game. It happens, and it’ll happen again. Today is Amanda’s day; she did her best and she won.”
Justino said she doesn’t remember exactly what went wrong inside the cage, other than getting hit cleanly with punches. She hadn’t yet watched the fight – where she relinquished her UFC women’s featherweight crown to “Lioness” – but did remark that she probably shouldn’t have kept punching when she was rocked.
Justino spoke with a smile on her face and while she made no excuses, she told the media that she wants and expects a rematch with Nunes at some point in the near future.
“Of course [I want a rematch],” she said. “Anytime. I love fighting and I will continue to fight. I like to improve and get better. For sure I’m going to train harder.”
Justino wasn’t clear on when she would like to climb back in the Octagon and if she preferred Nunes to be her next foe. She did maintain that her lifelong dream is to fight professionally in the sport of boxing, but she insisted that she needed to rest briefly and return to the gym as soon as possible.
While Justino praised Nunes for her performance inside the cage, she was quick to scoff at the notion that Nunes is now the greatest female fighter in the history of MMA, a moniker that has long been attached to herself.
“Everybody is going to say Amanda is the greatest,” Justino said. “Yes, she won today but she has four losses. How can she be the best if she has four losses?”