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UFC champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino secures professional boxing license

Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino, the high-profile UFC female featherweight champion, will be ready to make a convenient switch to boxing this upcoming season. On Thursday, her team confirmed to ESPN that she has been granted a professional boxing license in the state of California. This license comes right in time as her UFC contract comes to the end of its term in October.

“Cris has always shown an interest and passion for all combat sports,” said George Prajin, Justino’s longtime manager in the press release. “She loves to challenge her skills.

“She wants to professionally box in 2018, while of course taking into consideration how Zuffa (parent company of the UFC) feels about it. Any decision on a boxing match would be made with that in mind.”

Justino defeated Tonya Evinger (18-1) in the UFC’s 145-pound championship in July. With 16 career high wins by knockout, the devastating mixed martial arts female striker is ready for the next big challenge.

The Brazilian MMA fighter is in the works of negotiating a new deal with the UFC. To defend her featherweight title, she has publicly announced a fight against Holly Holm, the former bantamweight champion.

“My [UFC] contract is at 135 pounds,” Holm said. “So, if they came with a fight like that, I would say, ‘Let’s negotiate,’ she said of fighting in the 145 pound category.

“I truly feel that is one of, if not the biggest female fights they can promote. I’m not in it for the priority of money, but I value myself. My biggest passion is about the fight itself, but this is my career and anybody looking out for their career is looking at the facts. This is a huge fight and I’m sure everybody around it, the promotion, is going to make money. So, I would expect more money.”

[More from Excelle Sports: Why the UFC’s new featherweight division will make women’s fighting that much better]

“She’s already run three times,” Cyborg said of her attempts to lock down a fight with Holm. “I was supposed to fight her in Curitiba, I agreed to fight her 140 and she did not want to fight. Then, I said fight in Brazil, and she said she’d fight me at 138, not 140. And after this fight, when Megan Anderson pulled out of the fight, I said I’d like to fight Holly, she said no. […] Three time she run from this fight.”

While the UFC is interested in booking that fight, there is no plan as of now of it coming to fruition.

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