Invicta FC 145-pound champion and a fierce rival of Ronda Rousey, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino faces criticism in the media on a regular basis. Her 2011 failed drug test while competing for Strikeforce saw Cyborg sidelined for a year, and serves as the starting point for most of her critics arguments. It’s easy to get caught up in someone’s past, especially in a sport like MMA that is all about keeping a clean slate it seems.
Her banter with UFC bantamweight boss Ronda Rousey is well publicized and is rapidly becoming more of a reality. With Justino set to fight at Invicta 15 in a 140-pound catchweight fight, the bantamweight target draws ever close. Talking with Broadly.vice.com, Cyborg discusses the negative media since her positive test for steroids four years ago:
“I speak loud, I annoy people. People talk shit about me so I go and win in other sports, in Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. I fight different. I learned a lot of things I’m not upset any more. I grew a lot as a person, I had a lot of friends, and when something bad happened; where were my friends. Eight times since, and clean. Why be like this with me? People judge me and talk a lot of crap about me. It doesn’t make me upset, it makes me more angry for training.”
The obvious question of ‘Rowdy’ refusing to move up in weight, and how the Brazilian feels about this crops up. Cyborg states although she constantly asks for the fight, that Rousey is simply running and getting protected by the UFC:
“I weigh 165, yeah. I always think when you clean out the division, and she was fighting at 145 in Strikeforce. Even since then she runs from me, I asked Sean Shelby and he said ‘No, it’s too early for her’. I think the fans want the fight, I don’t care about belts. The UFC and Ronda Rousey says I don’t deserve it. She speaks too much.”
It’s undoubtedly tough making it in MMA, let alone when you have a very well covered steroid test failure for your opposition to use as ammunition. Then there’s the ‘time of the month’ to contend with. Justino brings this up out of the blue:
“You have to be positive, you have to filter when people say you can’t do it. And it’s tough to do that, when you aren’t at 100%, and girls are worse. When I get my period, I wan’t to kill somebody! Mine are worse, because I’m crazy, the same day I’m crying, then laughing and I’m mad (laughs).”
It’s a grind, especially in the world of MMA where the action inside the cage is equally as unforgiving as some of the negative media that particular fighters are subject to. It seems that Cyborg is a lot less phased by her detractors nowadays, but that likely doesn’t mean that the ‘hate’ will stop.
Perhaps only through fighting Ronda Rousey will Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino get vindication. Even that fight is not a sure thing, but it’s highly probable at the least.