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15th May 2016

WATCH: Cyborg’s UFC debut was as devastating as everyone expected


Ben Kiely

And that’s why the UFC struggled to find an opponent for Cyborg’s highly anticipated promotional debut.

When it was announced Invicta and former Strikeforce featherweight champion Cristiane Justino would be fighting on the stacked UFC 198 card, the hype train went full steam ahead.

Having 13 knockouts from 15 wins before entering the world’s largest MMA promotion, Cyborg was widely considered to be the most devastating striker in WMMA. Regardless of who she was fighting in her UFC debut, everyone expected one outcome – fireworks.

Cyborg brought the 4th of July to her opponent Leslie Smith, completely overwhelming her with a barrage of powerful strikes in the first round of the 140 lb catchweight contest.

Smith only managed to land three punches on the Brazilian, as Justino dodged and slipped the most of the American’s jabs, countering with a number of her trademark right hands.

Cyborg dropped her to the mat with a straight right following a blistering flurry and referee Eduardo Herdy intervened quickly to award Cyborg the TKO victory at 1:21 of the first round.

After the fight, Justino ruled making a run at the UFC bantamweight title. She explained at the post-fight presser that she’s open to defending her Invicta featherweight title or signing another 140 lb catchweight bout in the UFC.

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