Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards. Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.
Fighters Only have extended the nomination period from 12 months to 18 months (1st January 2019 – 30th June 2020) to best account for all global MMA action and performances.
The star-studded, black-tie 2020 World MMA Awards event will be held in October 2020 on a date and location to be announced.
In the lead-up to the big show, we are profiling each of the 12th annual World MMA Awards nominees.
Cris Cyborg is nominated for the Female Fighter of the Year in the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
Cris Cyborg has only competed twice in the last 18 months but made the very most from both appearances in the cage.
One of the most decorated female fighters to ever grace mixed martial arts, Cyborg was on a path to redemption after her shock first-round loss to compatriot Amanda Nunes at the tail end of 2018 – her first defeat in 21 fights and in 13 years.
The Brazilian took on tough-as-nails Canadian Felicia Spencer in the final fight of her UFC contract at UFC 240 in July, 2019.
Cyborg rebounded from that Nunes loss with a deserved unanimous decision victory over Spencer in her opponent’s home country.
The 35-year-old threw – and landed – everything bar the kitchen sink on Spencer, who somehow managed to withstand all that punishment to remain relatively competitive throughout the contest.
Cyborg beat Spencer up on the feet using all limbs available, landing punches, kicks, elbows and knees at will. Her defensive wrestling was on point too, as she managed to resist any of the Canadian’s attempts to take the fight down to the floor.
After getting the win on her last UFC contracted fight, a lot of questions were being asked about Cyborg’s next stomping ground.
She chose Bellator, reuniting with her former boss Scott Coker who ran Strikeforce as Cyborg dominated the women’s featherweight division where she really made her name.
Cyborg took on the promotion’s featherweight champion Julia Budd in her first appearance under the Bellator banner at Bellator 238 in January, 2020 – just a couple of months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut down sporting events in the USA.
Budd, like fellow Canadian Spencer, showed off how durable she is as Cyborg once again poured on the punishment.
Cyborg dominated the opening two rounds, getting a takedown and scoring a knockdown in the first and landing at will throughout the first 10 minutes.
The Brazilian got close to finishing the fight at the end of the third round after another round of brutalising her opponent. Budd somehow survived an onslaught of ground and pound from mount to make it to the fourth round.
Sensing how close she was to securing the finish, Cyborg managed to take her striking up another gear.
Cyborg threw punches, knees and kicks without ever relenting in a crazy minute-plus of breathless assault. Unfortunately for Budd, her toughness reserves had run dry as a final hook to the body folded her like a deck chair before the referee stepped in to stop any further punishment being doled out unnecessarily.
In her first fight for Bellator, Cyborg returned to her spot as a women’s featherweight champion – adding Bellator gold to her laundry list of belts won during her time in the UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC.
Following that Nunes loss, Cyborg couldn’t have done much more to redeem herself and rebuild her name as one of the most feared women competing in all combat sports.
Is Cris Cyborg your Female Fighter of the Year?
Voting is now open for the 12th annual World MMA Awards.
Head here to vote for your favourite fighters and MMA personalities.