|Born||in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil|
|Birth Name||Cristiane Justino Venancio|
|Height||5' 8" (1.73 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
A native of Curitiba, Brazil, Cristiane Justino Venancio was born in July 1985. Famous as Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, she shares the nickname "Cyborg" with her former husband and fellow mixed martial artist Evangelista Santos. After their divorce years later, she would become Cristiane Justino. Known for her aggressiveness and size, Justino has been compared to Wanderlei Silva in her approach to fighting. In 2004 after Justino competed in a high school handball championship game, she was approached by Rudimar Fedrigo, the founder and head coach of Chute Boxe Academy. Fedrigo was impressed by her strength and athleticism and encouraged a hesitant Santos to become a fighter. Santos relented and agreed to a free Muay Thai class at the Chute Box gym. At the Chute Boxe Academy she met Evangelista Santos, a training partner. Months into her combat sports training, her first professional fight was with the Brazil-based Showfight promotion in May 2005 and she adopted the nickname of "Cyborg". Cyborg fought Eric Paes who submitted her by knee-bar early in round one.
Cyborg's first MMA win happened that year in her second bout which happened with local promotion, Storm Samurai. She won unanimously over Vanessa Porto at "Storm Samurai 9". In 2006, she would experience the most MMA success with three consecutive wins over opponents in the first round: Chris Schroeder by TKO at "Storm Samurai 10"; hurting Elaine Santiago at "Storm Samurai 11" to earn a corner stoppage victory, and Marise Vitoria at "Storm Samurai 12". After a two-year absence from MMA competition, Cristiane returned to action in July 2008, for her first fight in the United States. It happened at the EliteXC Saturday Night Fights: Episode #1.2 (2008) event titled "Unfinished Business", which aired on CBS. Cyborg hit knee strikes on Shayna Andrea Baszler who fell on her back and attempted a knee-bar which Cyborg defended by punching. Baszler managed to get a take-down and attempted a leg-lock submission without success, as Cyborg again landed powerful punches while on the ground. The second round was a repeat of the first with Cyborg exhibiting her punching dominance hurting Baszler with her power. One of the fight's notable moments includes Baszler collapsing from Cyborg's strikes, and Cyborg prematurely celebrating on top of the cage. Referee Steve Mazzagatti implored Cyborg to keep fighting because the bout was not stopped. A confused Cyborg resumed her punches, then dragged Baszler to the ground and then allowed Baszler to stand up. The second time Baszler collapsed from Cyborg's punches; the bout was stopped by TKO victory.
Months later in October at EliteXC Saturday Night Fights: Episode #1.3 (2008), named "Heat", Cyborg won unanimously over Yoko Takahashi, in one of her few fights to go to a decision. The non-title bouts with Baszler and Takahashi were scheduled for three 3-minute rounds, unlike the usual three 5-minute rounds for men in non-title fights. Several days later after "Heat", Elite XC (2007) went out of business and ended any prospects of a much discussed fight between Cyborg and Gina Carano, who also fought in the promotion. In 2009, Strikeforce (2009) acquired former properties of Elite XC, including the video library and fighter contracts, which included Cyborg's. The signing prevented a planned bout between Cyborg and and Dutch fighter Marloes Coenen. Cyborg moved to Strikeforce (2009) under an exclusivity agreement, with her first fight against Hitomi Akano in a bout scheduled for 3 three-minute rounds. Cyborg controversially came in 7 pounds over the 145-pound weight limit against Akano who usually competes a weight class below.
Clearly the smaller fight at 143 pounds, Cyborg aggressively dominated Akano. Pushing aside her attempts at tossing her by German suplexing her to the ground, landing punches, then walking away. Cyborg repeated tossing Akano to the ground, briefly attacking from top then walking away until the end of the round. Cyborg repeated this approach in round two until Akano went for a flying submission without success against her much stronger opponent. Early in the third round Cyborg landed kicks and punches which staggered Akano for the technical knockout win. With Gina Carano also under contract, Cyborg's much speculated bout with Carano was booked on August 15, 2009. Strikeforce held its first MMA event headlined by women: Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg (2009) scheduled for the conventional five 5-minute rounds for championship MMA bouts. The fight would be for the Strikeforce's women's "middleweight" title at a 145 pounds weight limit usually known as "featherweight".
The women were aggressive with Cyborg using her strength to take Carano down but landing on the bottom. Carano took advantage and started to ground and pound until Cyborg grabbed her left foot for a heel hook submission. Carano escaped from it and Cyborg stood up and attacked with power punches, went for another take-down, and again ended up on the bottom with Gina on top. Carano stepped back and Cyborg stood up and initiated a clinch accompanied by punches. Carano applied a headlock and Cyborg took her down. Both fighters ended up against the cage in a clinch position. Carano drags Cyborg down and ended up on the bottom with Cyborg on top. Cyborg attempted an Americana/kimura submission hold and Carano secured her arm. Cyborg then unleashed a ground attack of punches until the fight was ended by technical knockout one second before the end the first round, becoming Strikeforce's first ever women's champion.
Cyborg was to have fought Marloes Coenen at CBS Strikeforce M-1 Global Saturday Night Fights (2009) to defend the title. An injury from a grappling competiton resulted made Justino withdraw from the fight. Justino's first defense of her Strikeforce championship (145 pounds) against Coenen--whom she was to have first fought at XMMA 7 in Montreal--to Strikeforce: Miami (2010). Coenen kicked and Cyborg punched until both got into a clinch against the fence and took her down by the waist. Coenen attacked from the bottom with an arm-bar submission and Cyborg escaped and rained down punches before the fight was stood up. Cyborg landed more punches and clinched with Coenen on the feet. Cyborg knocked Coenen to the ground in the second round and controlled her from the top. The fight was stood up and Cyborg attacked with hooks, body kicks, and defended against a take-down from Coenen. Coenen ended up on her back by applying a jumping guard, with Cyborg in control until the round ended. Coenen began the third round with an aggressive running effort to get Cyborg to the ground, which was defended with Cyborg's back against the fence. Cyborg opened up punches and kicks against, and reversed a brief take-down by Coenen to be on top. Cyborg stood up and fell when Coenen tripped her by kicking her feet from the ground. Cyborg ended up on top again after another failed take-down bid by Coenen, then unloading punches for the TKO win.
After her first title defense, Jan Finney was later announced as the next contender for the title held by Cyborg. Cyborg and Finney fought at Strikeforce M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum (2010). Finney landed the first strike and Cyborg hit her with the first of a barrage of punches. Finney collapsed and later tried for a take-down without success. Cyborg continued her attack with punches and some knees and was interrupted when Finney tried for a foot submission. The fight was stood up and Finney against collapse from the force of Cyborg's attacks. Cyborg attacked Finney on the ground until referee Kim Winslow interrupted. She ceased the action to deduct a point from Cyborg for multiple punches to the back of Finney's head. Cyborg continued landing punches, knees then defended another take-down attempt by Finney, pushed her to the ground to continue the attack. Finney started the second round with her most aggressive take-down offense on Cyborg without success. Cyborg resumed her striking dominance by hitting Finney with uppercuts and controlling her on the ground. Finney went for an unsuccessful leg-lock submission and Cyborg went back to punching and knees. The referee separated the fighters from the clinch, and Finney collapsed from a powerful knee to the body from Cyborg. Cyborg landed a few punches and the referee intervened to give Cyborg the technical knockout victory.
The shallowness of the Strikeforce (2009) women's featherweight division lead to a nearly 18-month absence from MMA competition for Cyborg. In December 2011, she fought Hiroko Yamanaka at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal (2011). Cyborg hit Yamanaka with right-hand punches, sending her to the ground. Yamanaka stood up and Cyborg pursued her against the cage to land more punches for the referee to end the bout at 16 seconds via KO. After the win Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker called Cyborg "the Mike Tyson of female MMA," and declared the promotion's plans to find new opponents for her. In January 2012, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) announced that Santos had tested positive for banned stanizol metalobites. She was suspended for a year, fined $2,500, her win over Yamanaka changed to a "No Contest", and Strikeforce relieved her of the Strikeforce Featherweight World title.
In her absence, Ronda Rousey rose to success defeating Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce Bantamweight (135lbs) World title, then defending it against Sarah Kaufman in under a minute using her well-known arm bar. Talk of a Cyborg vs. Rousey bout was fueled by fans and the press, with both women verbally sparring in the media. Cyborg mentioned the difficulties of cutting to bantamweight while Rousey, as the bantamweight champion, refused to return to the Featherweight division. Tito Ortiz became Justino's manager who later negotiated her release from Ultimate Fighting Championship after her contract was transferred from Strikeforce when it closed in January 2013. In February 2013, Cristiane Justino signed with the all-women Invicta Fighting Championships (Invicta FC) promotion. She made her first appearance with them at Invicta FC 5, where she defeated Fiona Muxlow by technical knockout in the first round. Justino was matched up against previous Strikeforce opponent Marloes Coenenat Invicta FC 6: Cyborg vs. Coenen II (2013) to crown the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight World Champion. Justino overpowered Coenen, whom had increased her strength from their first fight. While landing powerful punches and slams, Justino was patient, and often disengaged when the fight went to the ground, neutralizing Coenen's formidable submission skills. The bout was declared a TKO after four minutes in round 4 with Justino attacking from the full mount position.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: invictorious