When last we saw Cris Cyborg, she was losing her featherweight belt to the fists of Amanda Nunes. It was Cyborg’s first loss in nearly 13 years, and it marked the end of an extremely dominant run as the scariest female fighter on the planet. Tonight, she returns to the Octagon to face Felicia Spencer in the co-main event of UFC 240.
Now, it’s likely that Cyborg will smash the jiu-jitsu black belt into a million pieces. But if she doesn’t… if Spencer makes it two losses in a row for the Brazilian… then what?
Here’s what we know for sure. Cyborg was always the classic foil to whoever the female MMA star of the day was. Remember when Gina Carano was the queen of Strikeforce? Cyborg murdered her. Remember when Ronda Rousey was the queen of the UFC? Rousey was so coddled, she was never brought anywhere near Cyborg, because everyone knew what the Brazilian striking monster would’ve done to her. And up until the loss to Nunes–which was likely more because of Nunes’ role as the unstoppable best female fighter today–Cyborg had become a beloved star in her own right. Heck, the UFC made the female featherweight division just so she could be its champ.
So what we know for sure is that, win or lose tonight, Cris Cyborg will forever be considered one of the greats.