The first title fight tonight (Saturday, July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 gave us the women’s featherweight mulligan, with all-time great Cris “Cyborg” Justino duking it out with reigning Invicta FC bantamweight queen Tonya Evinger.
As expected, the ultra-powerful Cyborg pressed forward at the outset of the fight, tagging Evinger with some big punches. A few combos landed, but a tough-as-nails Evinger got the fight into the clinch and drug the fight to the mat in the guard. Cyborg signaled for a reset and began looking for more strikes on the feet. Evinger landed some low kicks, and Cyborg responded with some huge knees to the body.
Evinger made it ugly though, and again drug it to the mat ever so briefly. An eye poke to Cyborg caused a halt to the bout after she had hurt Evinger with a knee to the body. Upon the restart, Cyborg stalked her opponent against the cage with another knee. Evinger remained upright where Cyborg’s other opponents did not, however, despite big combos from Cyborg. Justino then landed a head kick, and a monstrous straight right with a knee behind it, but somehow Evinger made it out of the first round.
In the second frame, Cyborg came out with a leg kick, following with two more that scored. She followed with a left jab and a right hook. Evinger actually landed a shot, but ate a head kick for the effort. Justino hit Evinger with another knee to the body, dropping her to the ground and swarming with more punches and another head kick along the fence. Justino stalked a wild Evinger, landing a stiff left hand followed up with another and a huge low kick. Cyborg landed a huge shot and smelled blood, scoring with a kick and a big knee. Cyborg threw a bunch of strikes to end the second round but not much landed and the fighters ended in the clinch.
At the beginning of the third round, Cyborg landed another inside leg kick and two counter jabs as Evinger rushed in. More low kicks scored followed by a huge overhand right and a head kick. Justino poured it on, landed another swooping right hand and yet another high kick to the point it looked like the beginning of the end was upon us. Evinger survived yet again somehow, but it was extremely short-lived as Cyborg continued picking her apart with a Superman punch and monstrous knees from the Muay Thai clinch to drop and finish the tough Evinger in the third round, finally becoming a UFC champion for the first time in her illustrious career.
Final Result: Cris Cyborg def. Tonya Evinger via third-round TKO (knees, 1:56)