One of the hardest hitting and most violent athletes in all of MMA, Cris “Cyborg” Justino returns to the cage on April 5th at Invicta FC 5.
A woman of few words, Cyborg faces off against Australia’s Fiona Muxlow for a chance to compete for the inaugural 145lb Invicta title against Marloes Coenen. Supremely confident, and itching to set foot in the cage, Cyborg begins her climb back to the pinnacle of MMA on April 5th.
Corey Smith: Not many people know that before you began your MMA career, you were a very accomplished handball player in . Do you think that that aided in your hand to eye coordination?
Cris “Cyborg” Justino: Yes, I trained very hard at accuracy and being able to smash the ball without even looking. This training helped me in fighting because I bring the same accuracy to my punches; only now my opponent’s head is a lot bigger than the handball so it’s even easier to smash my opponent’s face in.
CS: Do you ever sneak in a game when you are not in training camp?
CJ: No, all of energy is dedicated to training. I love to fight; it is more fun punching people than hitting a hand ball.
CJ: Every time I go into the cage it’s like handball, except my opponent is the handball.
CS: Many consider you the most feared striker in all of women’s MMA. Because of that, fans have had rare glimpses into an equally dangerous ground game. Do you ever have a desire to show that aspect of your abilities to the fans?
CJ: I train hard with Galvao, one of the best BJJ coaches in world. My BJJ is good and Tito has been working on my ground and pound with me. Watch April 5!
CS: What has been your experience with Invicta so far?
CJ: I feel welcomed and at home. Shannon and Janet are awesome!
CS: Have any other female fighters spoken to you before or after signing the contract in regards to fighting for Invicta?
CJ: Yes. I speak to many girls; Jessica Penne is also managed by Tito and George at Primetime360 so I speak to her a lot.
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 5, Fiona Muxlow, hails from Australia. What type of fight can the fans expect on April 6th? How familiar are you with Muxlow?
CJ: I am not very familiar with her, but I have respect for her for taking the fight. She is either very brave or crazy because I am not holding back. I train for war!
CJ: I did read that she said that she was going to punish me and bash my face in; awesome! I can’t wait now! I am excited! I will run right over her!
CS: Muxlow was a late replacement for Ediane Gomes, who was known as more of a stand up fighter, vs many of Muxlow’s victories coming via submission. With only a few weeks left in your camp, how did you adjust to the change of opponent?
CJ: Nothing; I train to fight anyone, and I’m ready for anyone always!
CS: In anticipation of getting back into the cage, what have you been working on over the past year?
CJ: My boxing with Jason Parillo.
CS: On the subject of injuries, how do you manage to maintain a full scale training camp, but at the same time guard against overtraining and injuries?
CJ: I stay in shape all year long.
CS: Do you anticipate any amount of ring rust after such a long layoff?
CJ: No, I train and spar everyday.
CS: Most fighters list the weight cut as the hardest part of MMA. Aside from that, what do you consider the hardest part?
CS: Do you have any superstitions or habits before a fight? What is your mindset backstage before a fight?
CJ: No, just war!
CS: What do you do to unwind after a long day of training camp?
CJ: Read the bible.
CS: When you aren’t in camp, what types of activities do you enjoy?
CJ: I read the Bible and go to church.
CS: What are you most looking forward to on April 6?
CJ: Doing my best!
CS: Where can the fans get in touch with you?
CJ: @criscyborg on Twitter.
CS: Lastly, MMA is equally a team sports as it is an individual sport. Who would you like to thank?
CJ: God first and foremost!
CJ: My manager Tito Ortiz and George Prajin.
CJ: My team Jason Parillo, Galvao, Rob Emerson, Luciano Ferreira, Bubba Jenkins, Stanley Day, and Kenny Knoll.
CJ: The Arena MMA in San Diego, and Team Punishment.