Cris “Cyborg” Justino is finally a UFC champion after she dispatched Tonya Evinger by TKO in the third round on Saturday night in Anaheim.
It’s been a long wait for Cyborg to wear UFC gold around her waist after being universally recognized as the best 145-pound women’s fighter for several years.
Following her championship win, Cyborg was almost immediately asked about what matchup might make the most sense for her first title defense and she already had a former champion in mind.
“I’d like to fight Holly Holm,” Cyborg said after her win against Evinger. “I think she’s a great fighter and she’s a bigger girl like me. She’s fought already at 145 and I think all fans are going to like because she’s a striker. Let’s see that, maybe next.”
Holm competed in the inaugural women’s featherweight title fight in February where she lost a razor close decision to Germaine de Randamie, who was later stripped of the belt when she refused to fight Cyborg. Of course Holm is also a former women’s bantamweight champion, who knocked out Ronda Rousey to win the title back in 2015.
Holm bounced back from her loss to de Randamie in June with a knockout over former bantamweight title contender Bethe Correia, but has stated that she would be interested in fights at 145-pounds again if the right opportunity came along.
UFC president Dana White said he spoke to Holm after the card ended on Saturday night and it appears she is already interested in the idea of facing Cyborg with the title on the line.
“I was just talking to Holly Holm back there and what do you think Holly? It seems like she’s interested,” White revealed.
“I like Holly vs. Cyborg. I think it’s a good fight.”
First things first, White has to sit down with Cyborg and her management team to hopefully hammer out a new contract considering the new women’s featherweight champion only has a few months left on her current deal.
Once the two sides come to an agreement on a new contract, then White could begin looking at a potential Cyborg vs. Holm fight for later this year.